Thursday, April 18, 2024

Exclusive: Disney’s Big Holiday Release, “Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” Said to Be A Looming Disaster, Adds Second Director to Credits


A couple of weeks ago I was told by a couple of people that Disney’s big Christmas release, “Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” was a total disaster. I admit to hesitating on reporting this news. The director, Lasse Hallstrom, is one of my favorites, and I felt bad about the situation. Look at his movies: The Cider House Rules, Chocolat, My Life as a Dog, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, plus some gems like Hoax, Casanova, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

Now this afternoon Variety reports that the final cut will have two directors’ names– Hallstrom, and Joe Johnston. Lasse evidently turned in his version, Johnston was brought in for extensive reshoots. For maybe the first time ever, two separate directors will have their name on the opening card. Hallstrom will be first, followed by Johnston.

From what I hear, though, only Alan Smithee should be listed– that’s the name directors use when they want their name off a movie.

Even though Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, and Mackenzie Foy are featured, the movie is evidently not salvageable. What’s crazy, too, is that screenwriter Simon Beaufoy– who is always good– he won the Oscar for “Slumdog Millionaire”– composed the script. Lasse Hallstrom, Simon Beaufoy– what could go wrong, right? That’s A plus list talent!

Disney has made so much money this year already with Marvel and LucasFilms, and Pixar, they won’t notice this debacle. But it’s coming on November 2nd.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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