Keira Knightley is obviously a majestic and talented gem who deserves all the success in the world. And now she gets to embrace that majesty as the sparkly, pink-haired Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
Entertainment Weekly recently came out with a “first look” Nutcracker and the Four Realms article as well as two exclusive photos of Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Interstellar’s Mackenzie Foy as Clara. If you need a bit of a Nutcracker refresher, Clara (named Marie or Masha in some other versions) is the young girl who teams up and goes on adventures with a nutcracker that mysteriously comes to life on Christmas Eve.
It sounds as if Nutcracker and the Four Realms (which borrows elements from both the famous ballet and the original “Nutcracker” fairy tale) will focus more on the snowy, magical adventure part of The Nutcracker than the dolls fighting mice part, as the movie’s synopsis emphasizes Clara’s journey through the Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers, and Land of Sweets (where Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy meet). Foy also tells Entertainment Weekly that the Four Realms version of Clara will be more intelligent and ambitious than most other versions. “She’s very smart and independent,” Foy explains. “She loves to think and find the fastest way to solve a problem.”
And Clara’s intelligence will surely come in handy. She has to retrieve an enchanted key that unlocks a special gift from her godfather, Drosselmeyer, (Morgan Freeman, who apparently gets to flaunt his narration skills yet again) and must travel to the Fourth Realm to face the “fierce” Mother Ginger (Keira Knightley’s Collateral Beauty co-star Helen Mirren) in order to do so. Professional ballet dancer Misty Copeland and stand-up comic Jack Whitehall also star as The Ballerina and Harlequin, respectively.
According to early reports from Disney’s D23 Expo, Nutcracker and the Four Realms is, tone-wise, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland meets Lord of the Rings. From what we’ve seen so far, Four Realms looks exciting, visually stunning and slightly more mature than most other Nutcracker adaptations, including 2009’s The Nutcracker in 3D starring Elle Fanning. Could we finally be getting a Nutcracker movie that actually stands out and becomes an unofficial holiday classic?
Nutcracker and the Four Realms doesn’t come out until November 2, 2018, but you can still get into the holiday spirit by checking out one of the (probably) dozens of Nutcracker productions being held in a theatre near you.