The helmers — who are not a directing team — will be listed on the same title card for “The Nutcracker,” which stars Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Misty Copeland, and Mackenzie Foy.
Hallstrom was the first director on the movie. Johnston was hired for a month of re-shoots, requiring extensive special effects, when Hallstrom was not available to film the additional footage.
Typically, under the Directors Guild of America’s rules, only one filmmaker can be credited with directing a film. That was the case on “Bohemian Rhapsody,” in which Bryan Singer was given the credit, even though he was fired in the latter stages of shooting and replaced by Dexter Fletcher. That rule can be waived to allow two directors to be credited when filmmakers have a history of working together or share a common vision, such as the case with the brother teams of Joel and Ethan Coen and Joe and Anthony Russo.
In the case of “The Nutcracker,” Hallstrom offered to share the “directed by” credit with Johnson, who accepted. Disney agreed to list both as director.
The live-action movie is based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” in which a girl named Clara is tasked by her parents with taking care of a toy Nutcracker doll, which comes to life and defeats an evil Mouse King with seven heads. Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov turned an Alexandre Dumas adaptation of the story into the ballet “The Nutcracker” in 1892.
Hallstrom has been nominated for three Oscars for writing and directing “My Life as a Dog,” and for directing “The Cider House Rules.” His other credits include “A Dog’s Purpose,” “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” “Dear John” and “Chocolat.”
Johnston won an Oscar for the visual effects in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and has specialized in directing effects-driven movies such as “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” the original “Jumanji,” “Jurassic Park III,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger.”