The Nutcracker has been a beloved children's story for two centuries, a popular ballet for over 120 years and has even been adapted into a movie several times. However, Disney is aiming to give the story its biggest blockbuster production yet, with The Nutcracker and the Four Realms gearing up for production. Last month, dancer Misty Copeland was the first star to be added to the movie, but now there's word that Interstellar actress Mackenzie Foy has been brought aboard as the movie's lead actress.
According to Variety, Foy has been cast as Clara, the girl who is given a Nutcracker doll by her parents which later comes to life and takes its owner to a magical kingdom on a journey to defeat the evil Mouse King. While The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is primarily based on the original 1816 story, the use of Clara as the protagonist shows there will also be elements of the ballet incorporated into the movie.
Mackenzie Foy is arguably best known for playing young Murph Cooper in 2014's Interstellar, with Jessica Chastain playing the character as an adult. Foy also appeared in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Part 2 as Renesmee Cullen, and she can be heard next month as The Little Girl in Netflix's The Little Prince.
So now The Nutcracker and the Four Realms has its main star, but she isn't the only casting that's been announced. THR dropped the news that the powerfully-voiced Morgan Freeman is joining the movie as the "mysterious" Drosselmeyer. In the ballet, Drosselmeyer was Clara's godfather, and he was the one who created the Nutcracker for her. Whether that same relationship will be retained in the movie remains to be seen, but with Freeman on board, this movie has some major Hollywood power behind it. Freeman's recent appearances include Ted 2, London Has Fallen, Now You See Me 2 and next month's Ben-Hur remake.
Disney has a lot of live action fairy tale movies coming out in the next several years, but most of them are remakes or re-imaginings of their classic animated features. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is the House of Mouse's attempt to tell the biggest version of this classic tale yet, though it's not like that's a tall hurdle to surpass. The last Nutcracker movie, released in 2009, was a box office flop and universally panned, and most adaptations before that were animated and targeted solely at children. The movie already seems to be off to a good start casting-wise, and if production will begin soon, then we'll start hearing who else is being added in the coming months.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is being written by Ashleigh Powell and directed by Lasse Hallström, but there's been no announcement of a release date next. We'll keep you updated on its progress as more details come in.