Misty Copeland has already made history. The ballerina made headlines when she became the first African-American to be promoted to principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre. Now, she’ll dance one of the most well-known and coveted roles in all of dance repertoire — and she’ll do it for the Mouse House.
Copeland revealed on Instagram that she’s joining the cast of Disney’s live-action Nutcracker movie, called The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, along with a photo of the screenplay. While she didn’t specific which role she’s playing, such a high-profile addition wouldn’t be shoved in the background. THR confirms that she’ll take the lead ballerina role in the iconic dance sequence.
The ballet was composed by Peter Tchaikovsky and accompanied a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann that tells of Clara, a young girl who is thrust into a fantastical world at midnight of Christmas Eve as a war between gingerbread soldiers and mice wages. Lasse Hallstrom directs the film from a screenplay by Ashleigh Powell.
See Copeland’s Instagram below.
Elsewhere, Chiwetel Ejiofor is making waves of his own. The 12 Years a Slave and Doctor Strange actor is in talks to join, which sees Rooney Mara in the titular role and Joaquin Phoenix as .
According to, Ejiofor will play the role of Peter, Jesus’s main disciple and one of his 12 apostles. The story of Jesus’ crucifixion in The New Testament tells of Peter denying Jesus three times and later forgiven following the Resurrection. Garth Davis is directing the Biblical film, which is scheduled to begin production this summer ahead of an eyed release in 2017.
While religious films like this one attracts a very specific audience, they have been performing well at the box office with releases like War Room, and on television with the live performance of The Passion.