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Leni on March 1,2018 • 0 Comments

Ellie Bamber is no stranger when it comes to the classics. The 21-year-old is set to portray Louise in the upcoming film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, followed by a starring role in the BBC’s six-part version of the iconic musical Les Misérables. And while Ellie’s version of Cosette (played in the 2012 film by Amanda Seyfried) won’t be hitting any high E’s — since the series will not be a musical — the performer is certainly comfortable singing her heart out.
Ellie tells Teen Vogue on the set of the Young Hollywood shoot that her first dip into acting was onstage, in a musical called Aspects of Love. From there, the rest is basically history, since she fell in love with performing. Incidentally, this won’t be Ellie’s first trip to 19th-century France; she also performed in a production of Les Mis when she was in school. However, she adds that Cosette is “a dream role,” noting that this version of the musical will be a totally different experience.
“You’re going to see these characters in different ways because we’re going back to the original novel,” Ellie explains, citing the 1,400-page classic by Victor Hugo. “We’re bringing details that have never been seen before,” she adds, describing elements being included as “very romantic” and “stunning.” The actor notes that fans of the musical are in for a “new and interesting” take on the popular Broadway classic. She starts filming in Brussels soon and has gotten a chance to see some of the wardrobe — which she knows is an essential part of telling a character’s journey.

The young artist’s upcoming projects may take her out of the theater momentarily, but she raves about the lessons she’s learned while working on productions in venues both big and small. She recounts doing the musical comedy High Society at the Old Vic in London and working with Kwame Kwei-Armah, who changed the way she looks at new roles. Ellie describes the experience as being like one big family, thanks to spending countless hours in a close environment, which included plenty of dancing around to playlists brought in by the other performers.
For Ellie, one of the best parts of revamping these classic titles is bringing in new audiences. Even if musical theater isn’t your cup of tea, you might fall in love with this version of Les Mis and want to go see it onstage — and Ellie hopes that’s exactly what happens. “There is really nothing like seeing a live stage performance,” she promises.

Les Mis isn’t the only classic that Ellie gets to bring into 2018. She tells Teen Vogue that The Nutcracker — which will be released in theaters in November — is a “reimagining” of the traditional story found within the holiday-themed ballet. The film also stars Twilight’s Mackenzie Foy as Clara, Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Helen Mirren as Mother Ginger.

In addition to her passion for telling timeless stories, Ellie cares deeply about gender equality within Hollywood — especially in light of the current Time’s Up movement. She notes that it’s essential to have women behind the camera as well as onscreen, adding that everything that happens behind the scenes “translates to the front.”
“The idea of bringing equality not just to entertainment but to every walk of life, I think it’s very important,” she says. “There should be no segregation. Everyone should be united, and everyone should be seen as equals.”

If Ellie has her way, Hollywood will continue down this path. She hopes that roles will continue to get better for women, and she also looks forward to obtaining more challenging roles herself — ones that would “take me somewhere that maybe I haven’t been before.” Given that she’s already accomplished so much, we’re expecting to see her go to many new places — and continue to shine all the way.

Leni on July 15,2017 • 0 Comments

Disney’s live-action fantasy ballet film, Nutcracker and the Four Realms, officially has a release date: November 18th, 2018.

The release date was announced today during Disney’s D23 Expo. Concept art for the film, along with a quick first look were shown. From ComingSoon.Net, it had “[a] very detailed set and costume design.” Dancer Charles Riley, who is portraying the Mouse King, also gave a live dance performance.

The film is an adaptation of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffman, about a young girl who finds a Nutcracker doll and is tasked by her parents to take special care of it. Taken on a magical journey, she explores the Land of Flowers, Snowflakes, Sweets, and a fourth realm, belonging to Mother Ginger (played by Helen Mirren).

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a fantastical take on an iconic story and the footage screened at the film’s panel suggests something similar to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland… with a lot more dancing.

The first trailer for the film was also shown, though it has not been released as of writing.

The trailer we saw opens with a carriage moving through the snow, while the instantly recognizable voice of Morgan Freeman narrates that it is Christmas Eve, a time of mystery. We then see an elaborate Christmas party, with a young girl wandering through the house, following a strange thread. Eventually, her path leads her into a snow-covered land, fantastic and over-the-the-top in its design. There are a lot of patterns in this world and it looks, for better or worse, very similar to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland remake.

Interestingly, our own Peter Sciretta noted that the concept art shown after the trailer maybe looked more like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings rather than Alice in Wonderland.

What the trailer didn’t show was the Nutcracker himself, who will be brought to life via CGI. The elaborate ballet dance numbers will be created by Misty Copeland and Sergei Polunin, two of the world’s most respected modern dancers.

Lasse Hallström (Chocolat, A Dog’s Purpose) was hired to direct a live-action version of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms in March of 2016. Black List scribe Ashleigh Powell is writing the screenplay, Mark Gordon (Grey’s Anatomy) is producing, and Lindy Goldstein will serve as an executive producer.

Mackenzie Foy will play Clara, Keira Knightley will play the Sugar Plum Fairy, Morgan Freeman will play Drosselmeyer, Eugenio Derbez will play the Flower Realm King, Helen Mirren will play Mother Ginger, Miranda Hart plays Dew Drop Fairy, Ellie Bamber plays Louise, and ballerina Misty Copeland will star as The Ballerina.

The classic Nutcracker story, which debuted in 1892 from author E.T.A. Hoffmann, follows a young girl named Clara. On Christmas Eve, she and her family receive a bounty of gifts from their toymaker godfather, including a wooden nutcracker shaped like a man. When Clara goes to check on her new toy later that night, the clock strikes twelve. Suddenly the nutcracker grows to life size, and Clara finds herself in the middle of a battle between gingerbread men and mice. The story was adapted into one of the world’s most famous ballets, but there has yet to be a Nutcracker movie adaptation that has captured the world’s attention in a major way.

While the studio has recently turned its attention to creating live-action adaptations of their own classic films, this is one of the rare adaptations they’re working on that doesn’t have a famous animated Disney predecessor. But considering that the play has become a holiday classic, the idea of creating the definitive Nutcracker movie (and swimming in all of the money they’d stand to make from subsequent TV broadcasts every holiday season) must be extremely appealing to the Mouse House.