Something unprecedented has occurred with Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, and for once it has nothing to do with them breaking box office records. Originally directed by Lasse Hallstrom, it was revealed late last year that veteran filmmaker Joe Johnston was coming aboard to helm a month’s worth of reshoots. The plan was to have Hallstrom, who had to leave due to scheduling conflicts, return for post-production. Additionally, these reshoots would feature brand new scenes penned by Oscar-winning Spotlight writer Thomas McCarthy.
Now it’s been made official that Hallstrom and Johnston have agreed to share directing credit on the film, something that is extremely rare for the Directors Guild of America (DGA) to approve. In the vast majority of cases co-directing credit is only approved for established director teams, so think Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the Coen Brothers, etc. In virtually all other cases only one director is able to receive credit for a film. The DGA told THR they can’t recall a situation when two previously unrelated directors agreed to share credit on a movie.
So think about recent situations where things turned out different. When Joss Whedon replaced Zack Snyder on Justice League he didn’t end up with a director credit. Nope, it still went to Snyder while Whedon was credited as a screenwriter. Ron Howard replaced Lord and Miller on Solo: A Star Wars Story and they took their names off the project, letting him receive full credit. Bryan Singer was removed from Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, and although Dexter Fletcher came in to replace him it was recently revealed that Singer would still get sole directing credit.
Disney has big plans for The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, which they’ve slotted for November 2nd. The lavish adaptation of the classic story stars Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, and Helen Mirren with a script by Simon Beaufoy and Ashleigh Powell.