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Disney’s festive live-action adaptation of a classic fairytale, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is set to be released on 2nd November 2018. This was originally the slot for the live-action Mulan movie, which has now been delayed until 2019.

Starring Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s book, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. The book tells the story of a young girl called Marie, who is given a nutcracker as a Christmas gift. Her siblings accidentally break the nutcracker’s jaw, so Marie bandages him up and promises to fix him so he’s as good as new. That night, the nutcracker comes to life, and leads a toy army into battle against the Mouse King.

The star of Disney’s adaptation will be named Clara, played by Mackenzie Foy. On her magical adventure, Clara will visit each of the four realms: The Land of Flowers, The Land of Snowflakes, The Land of Sweets and a mysterious fourth realm, presided over by the wicked Mother Ginger.


The nutcracker and The Four Realms Photo: G2 PIctures

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms was filmed at Pinewood Studios and on location in South Kensington, London, and is directed by Lasse Hallström (Chocolat, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape). It will star Morgan Freeman as Drosselmeyer, the clockmaker who makes the nutcracker, as well as a whole host of British acting stars. Helen Mirren will play Mother Ginger, Richard E. Grant will star as Shiver, and comic actress Miranda Hart will be the Dew Drop Fairy.

The Nutcracker is famously also a beloved ballet by Tchaikovsky. There will be a single dance sequence in this movie, which will be performed by American ballet dancer, Misty Copeland.


Keira Knightley, Misty Copeland and Morgan Freeman. Photo: courtesy of catchnews

A teaser or trailer has yet to be released, but I was lucky enough to see some footage from the movie at a Disney event earlier this year. I’m not allowed to reveal much about what I saw, but I can say that Disney fans can look forward to a very snowy and magical Christmassy-looking fantasy, released right in time for the 2018 holiday season.