Outside of Dr. Zhivago, I can’t think of very many great Hollywood films set in Russia, even though Russian literature has the potential for great adaptations, or at least 19th century Russian literature, when Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky reigned. On that note, Robert Zemeckis is reportedly going to adapt yet another ineffable classic in 3D motion capture, The Nutcracker. While The Nutcracker is most famously known for the ballet, it’s actually based on an 1816 novel, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by ETA Hoffmann. It is this story that provides the impetus for the Zemeckis adaptation.
According to Pajiba, even though it is not per se a Russian story, it will be a faithful adaptation set in 19th century Russia involving the cursed nutcracker and his trevails against the Mouse King. I was surprised to find that well known actors have actually worked on adaptations in the past: Christopher Lee in the 1979 stop-motion film Nutcracker Fantasy and Keifer Sutherland in the 1990 animated film The Nutcracker Prince. And even though it might be overdone, I wonder if Zemeckis will opt for the classic songs featured in the ballet.