With seemingly every fairy tale being adapted for the big screen in the next few years (“Snow White and the Huntsman,” etc. etc. blah blah blah) in bigger and more extravagant ways, we’re bracing ourselves for a choking onslaught of pixie dust. And one of the adaptations we could care less about is “Hairspray” director Adam Shankman‘s “The Nutcracker” redux. Given the director’s choreography background (he’s also a frequent judge on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance“), we kind of assumed his ‘Nutcracker’ would stick to its famous ballet roots. But nope. According to the director its going in a completely different but altogether predictable direction.
Shankman told Entertainment Weekly that there might be a smattering of dance but the ballet aspect (made famous by Tchaikovsky) would largely be scrapped. “There are some celebrations in the story and there could be dancing at the celebrations,” Shankman said. “But other than that, no. It is absolutely not going to be a full-on ballet. No ballet.” The legacy of the various productions seems to have gotten to Shankman, who has the potentially goofy/fun jukebox musical “Rock of Ages” (with Tom Cruise) coming out next year.
“I couldn’t touch it as a musical or as a dance piece because it’s been done too much and too well,” he says. So what direction will the film go in? Well, when a director openly cites “Alice in Wonderland” as an inspiration, you should be concerned. “It hasn’t been told in the same vein as these new action-adventure fairy tale films, and yet it is definitely an action-adventure story,” Shankman described his take to EW. “I didn’t want to do it if it wasn’t that concept….And we are going back to the original story too, because the ballet actually was a bit of a departure. So I am going back to the darker more action/adventure version. More like ‘Snow White and the Huntsman,’ [the Johnny Depp] ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ It is in that vein.”
So swashbuckling and CGI then? We recently caught parts of that 3D “The Nutcracker” that came out last year, on some cable channel, and we couldn’t sleep for a week. And that was a squeaky clean version (with a horrifying John Turturro as the Rat King). We can only imagine how nightmarish this one will be, when it is actually going for “dark.” Eep!