Disney has released several well-received and high-grossing animated/live-action films of late, including Finding Dory, The Jungle Book, and one of the year’s biggest hits Zootopia. To try and keep their momentum moving forward, the studio has announced some big and exciting projects on the horizon – the Emma Watson-led Beauty and the Beast, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and Toy Story 4 just to name a few. One title that moviegoing audiences might be less aware of, however, is the Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Nutcracker ballet entitled The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.

Disney’s live-action Nutcracker film will be based on E.T.A. Hoffman’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, a Christmas-themed tale about a young girl who is transported into a mysterious and magical world inhabited by gingerbread soldiers and an army of mice. It was recently announced that Oscar-nominated director Lasse Hallström (The Hundred-Foot Journey) was brought onboard in order to helm the project, and now it appears as though the film has begun casting too.

THR is reporting that classical American dancer Misty Copeland has been cast in Disney’s upcoming live-action film adaptation of the world-famous Nutcracker ballet. Copeland is set to serve as the lead ballerina in the movie’s solo dance sequence. Not only does this addition signify the film’s first casting, but it also serves as the ballerina’s big screen debut. Copeland has been the subject and star of several documentaries, but never the lead or even a supporting character in a Hollywood film.

misty copeland sesame street cookie monster Disneys Nutcracker Live Action Movie Casts Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland hangs out with Cookie Monster on Sesame Street


Misty Copeland is most well-known for being a child prodigy in the world of ballet and for making history when she became the first African-American woman to be promoted to principal dancer for the American Ballet Theater (ABT), one of the United State’s leading classical ballet companies.

Not much is known about Disney’s live-action film Nutcracker adaption, but the addition of world-renowned ballerina Misty Copeland has to be seen as a coup for the both the movie and the studio. Additionally, it is still unclear as to how large or small Copeland’s role in the movie will end up being. Nevertheless, it is exciting to hear that the film will, in fact, feature at least one dance sequence.

While this news is not quite a major reveal of the film to come, it could certainly be seen as an indicator for what kind of movie audiences should expect. With Copeland joining the cast, and the film featuring a solo dance sequence, it would appear as though Disney plans on, at the very least, paying homage to this classic two-act ballet that inspired the movie.

NEXT: Beauty and the Beast Teaser Poster

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is currently without a release date. We’ll let you know when that changes.

Source: THR