Re-Imagining of The Nutcracker To Be Chock Full of Action
by Ethan Anderton
December 6, 2009
That's right, folks. THR reports that The Nutracker, the Christmas story best known as a ballet with music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, is being re-made and revamped to take on the form of an action-adventure a la the same tone and style of the recent incarnation of The Chronicles of Narnia. And while this seems like the most ridiculous idea you've ever heard (and believe me, I'm right there with you), remember that the actual story was written by E.T.A. Hoffmann decades before the ballet's debut in 1892 and features a war involving a seven-headed Mouse King and his army of mice, curses and themes of ugliness and beauty. So there's that.
Hoffmann's classic story itself centers on a 12-year-old girl who, with her brother and sister, receive gifts from their clockmaker-inventor godfather on Christmas Eve, one of which is a Nutcracker doll. That night, the girl begins an adventure that gets her entangled in this war between mice and wooden dolls. Behind The Nutcracker pitch is writer Darren Lemke, who penned Bryan Singer's upcoming Jack the Giant Killer. And after hearing how fantastical and out of this world the premise for that film was, I'm not surprised by his take on the classic Christmas tale. Lemke is a fan of mixing up classic stories but with respect, hear this:
"I like the classic stories, but only if you can find a way to embrace them, without betraying them, and tell the tale with a forward thrust, making them feel modern."
Since classic stories are indeed classic, very rarely is it possible to modernize and embrace them without betraying them. But of course since The Nutcracker isn't a story I hold close to my heart, I just might end up being interested in this one as it continues to develop. After all, the endless ballet and animated versions on television won't be hurt much by an update. It's not like they're turning It's a Wonderful Life into some sort of time traveling caper where a man has to save himself in the past in order to save humanity in the future. Please, don't get any ideas from that, Hollywood. Does anyone think this has potential? Or is it hopeless?