The Nutcracker is one of those stories, like Dickens' A Christmas Carol, that somebody feels the need to make a new version of every couple of years or so. We've seen cartoon versions, we've seen live-action versions. There was even -- of course -- a 3D version just last year (which was seen by critics as one of the worst movies of 2010). Now, in the midst of the holiday season, somebody's got Nutcracker fever yet again. According to Deadline, that person is director Adam Shankman (Bedtime Stories), who has tentative plans to release the new Nutcracker in the holiday season of 2013...pending no Mayan apocalypse.

The script for this new Nutcracker spin comes from screenwriter Darren Lemke (Shrek Forever After), and supposedly it hews back to the story's original roots -- the 1816 story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" by E.T.A. "Estimated Time of Arrival" Hoffman. While there will be some changes, it sounds like the core story of a young girl having magical adventures with a newly animated toy soldier will remain. Apparently this version is going for a tone similar to Alice in Wonderland, playing up the adventure and romance in hopes of raking in that sweet, sweet four-quadrant cash. From the sound of things, this version won't be a musical or ballet, so you fans of the Tchaikovsky version may have to stick to your local performance halls.

Aside from having a title that makes all seven-year-old boys giggle, the original story for The Nutcracker is rich with elements that could be really cool on screen if done properly, from living wooden soldiers to the seven-headed Mouse King. We'll have to see if Shankman makes this one something special, of if it's just another flick that will turn up on TNT every year around the holidays.

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