Earlier this year, it was revealed that Keira Knightley had signed up to play the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in Disney’s retelling of The Nutcracker. And now, she’s got herself an unexpected magical ally – in the form of Miranda Hart.
The British comedian has joined the cast of The Nutcracker as a fairy called Dew Drop, Variety reports, in what’s been described as a “fun, comedic role for the film”.
The live-action film will be based on E. T. A. Hoffman’s 1816 story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, rather than Tchaikovsky’s famous 1892 ballet, and the plot follows a little girl called Clara whose Christmas toy – a Nutcracker doll – comes to life.
But if it all sounds rather saccharine, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is actually a pretty sinister story. After being given the gift of life, the Nutcracker has to do battle against the titular Mouse King, who is far from being cute and fluffy: rather, he has seven heads and an evil heart.
There will be one ballet sequence in Disney’s new movie, but Knightley won’t have to learn how to dance en pointe as the Sugar Plum Fairy: the routine will be performed by American ballet superstar Misty Copeland, the first African-American woman to become principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre.
Lasse Hallstrom, director of films including What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and Chocolat, will direct Disney’s Nutcracker retelling. Mackenzie Foy, who played Renesmee Cullen in Twilight: Breaking Dawn and Murphy in Insterstellar, will play Clara, while Morgan Freeman has also been linked to the movie.
No word yet on when the film is likely to be in cinemas – but we already can't wait.