Nutcracker 3D in the making for 40 years

MUMBAI: 73 year-old Andrei Konchalovsky, the co-writer cum director of The Nutcracker in 3D," has dot the film to the big screen after 40 years.

The Russian theater and film director has modernized the classic tale, that released in the United States on Friday by converting it in 3D. He also changed the setting and some of the characters.

Elle Fanning stars as nine-year-old Mary, who receives an enchanted nutcracker as a gift from her eccentric Uncle Albert, played by Nathan Lane. On Christmas night, the Nutcracker (Charlie Rowe) comes to life and leads her to a kingdom of living toys threatened by an evil Rat King (John Turturro).

Incidentally, Konchalovsky wrote the first version of the script for director Anthony Asquith in the late ?60s, but when the director expired "the script went to oblivion," Konchalovsky says.

More than 25 years later, in 1995, Konchalovsky decided that the time had come to make a film for his children and grandchildren and that is when he remembered the shelved script.

Instead of attempting to film a ballet, Konchalovsky turned to German author E.T.A. Hoffmann‘s original story and Russian composer Pyotr Tchiakovsky‘s music.

The director dressed his anthropomorphic rats in military uniforms inspired by Pink Floyd‘s concept album and film The Wall, but he tempered this grim aesthetic by casting comic actor Turturro as the Rat King.

Despite the strong cast, financing his unique vision of the Christmas classic wasn‘t easy as he met several film executives showing set designs and describing his unique vision. Finally, he found people "mad enough to give me money!"

As an independently-financed and distributed feature, the film is "like a David against Goliath in the market" against big wigs like Warner Bros‘ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" and Disney‘s Tangled.

He eventually feels that the 40 more years he traveled to arrive at The Nutcracker in 3D has been worthwhile.

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