Konchalovsky will direct ballet adaptation

John Turturro, Nathan Lane and Elle Fanning are set to star in a $65 million fantasy musical inspired by Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker,” to be directed by Russian helmer Andrei Konchalovsky.

Titled “Nutcracker — The Untold Story,” the movie is based on the fairy story that inspired the ballet. Tim Rice is contributing lyrics to eight new songs using Tchaikovsky’s scores, from “The Nutcracker” itself and from his concertos and symphonies.

Konchalovsky has written the screenplay with Chris Solimine. Lane gifts the Nutcracker doll to Fanning in 1920s Vienna and Turturro plays the evil Mouse King. Kevin Phipps, art director of “Troy” and “V for Vendetta,” is supervising the visuals and the sets.

The movie starts shooting July 16 at Stern Film Studios in Budapest. Producer is Paul Lowin, with Moritz Borman acting as exec producer.

The production is being financed by private equity plus Hungary’s tax incentives. The producers are waiting until shooting is underway before starting to negotiate distribution agreements.

“I have been trying to make this film for a very long time, and now that CGI and technical wizardry have come so far, I can finally realize my dream,” Konchalovsky said.

“It’s very difficult to show a film like this to distributors at screenplay stage, because there is so much CGI and animatronics, so we decided to raise the money from a consortium of private investors,” Borman said.

Deal was packaged by David Bugliari, Bart Walker and Tony Lipp of CAA.

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