Lasse Hallstrom is on board to direct a new big-screen version of The Nutcracker.
Disney Studios is developing the project, titled The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, which adapts the classic ballet by Peter Tchaikovsky and the accompanying story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.
The classic story told of a young girl named Clara who receives a nutcracker doll from her godfather on Christmas Eve. When she goes to check on it later that night, the clock strikes midnight, and she finds herself thrust into a fantastical world where she is in the middle of a war between gingerbread soldiers and an army of mice.
Mark Gordon is producing the live-action project, which has a script by Ashleigh Powell. Powell spent two years developing the script, with Disney quietly picking it up in a competitive situation last year.
Lindy Goldstein is executive producing.
Sam Dickerman and Allison Erlikhman are overseeing the project for Disney. Sara Smith is overseeing for The Mark Gordon Co.
Live-action reimaginings of The Nutcracker have tried to get off the ground before. Universal was developing one with Planet of the Apes producer Chernin Entertainment, while New Line had one with Temple Hill, the company behind Twilight. Both have been dormant for years.
Powell broke out onto the screenwriting scene in 2012 with her Black List script Somacell, now set up at Warners with David S. Goyer producing. She currently is developing the New York Times best-selling sci-fi book The Traveler at Syfy.
A three-time Oscar nominee, Hallstrom most recently was nominated for 1999’s The Cider House Rules. He directed Leonardo DiCaprio in 1993’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, leading to the actor’s first Oscar nomination.
Hallstrom last directed 2014’s The Hundred-Foot Journey and next up has DreamWorks’ canine drama A Dog’s Purpose, with Britt Robertson and Dennis Quaid starring.
Hallstrom is repped by UTA. Powell is repped by Gersh and BenderSpink.