According to The Hollywood Reporter, Academy-Award winning actress Helen Mirren (Trumbo) is in talks to join The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Mackenzie Foy (Interstellar) is set to star. Already on board the project are Morgan Freeman (Ben-Hur), Keira Knightley (Everest) and American Ballet Theater ballerina Misty Copeland making her feature film debut.
Disney’s new live-action retelling of the classic Nutcracker story will be directed by Lasse Hallström (The Hundred-Foot Journey). Ashleigh Powell in her screenplay writing debut is adapting the Christmas story about a girl (Foy) playing with her favorite Nutcracker wooden toy doll given to her by her godfather Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman). Under cover of darkness, the Nutcracker, gingerbread soldiers, and other toys and dolls come to life. The girl witnesses the Nutcracker lead a toy army against an army of mice led by their seven-headed evil Mouse King. The Nutcracker then takes the girl to a magical kingdom inhabited by dolls and ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy (Knightley). Copeland will be lead ballerina in the film’s sole dance number. Mirren will play a character named Mother Ginger.
Mark Gordon will produce with Lindy Goldstein executive producing. Sam Dickerman and Allison Erlikhman are overseeing the project for Disney. Sara Smith is overseeing for The Mark Gordon Company.
Mirren is juggling several projects including Fast 8 and Collateral Beauty which are currently in post-production. She is set to star in Michael Spierig’s Winchester which is currently in pre-production.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is scheduled for a 2018 release.