Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Adam Shankman will be set by New Line Cinema to direct The Nutcracker, a new take on the classic fairy tale that is being eyed as a tent pole family holiday film for late 2013. The script was written by Darren Lemke, who just worked with New Line on Jack the Giant Killer, and whose credits include Shrek Forever After. This version of The Nutcracker goes back to the original 1815 book by E.T.A. Hoffman, about a young girl and a wooden toy soldier who comes alive and leads her on an adventure. The take is a drama with action and a love story that aspires to be similar in tone to Alice in Wonderland. It is shaping up as Shankman’s next film.

The film is being produced by Temple Hill’s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen, who are coming off Twlight Saga: Breaking Dawn–Part 1. It’s likely that Shankman and his Offspring Entertainment partner Jennifer Gibgot will become involved as well by the time the deal is made. Shankman is just coming off Rock of Ages, the New Line adaptation of the stage musical that stars Tom Cruise, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Mary J. Blige, Paul Giamatti and Bryan Cranston. The film opens June 1. It would be Shankman’s third film with New Line, after Hairspray. Shankman is repped by UTA as is Lemke.