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It might feel strange to be talking about a Christmas tale in the height of summer, but E.T.A. Hoffmann‘s 1816 story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is timeless. And, of course, we’re all over anything Matthew Macfadyen signs on for.

Macfadyen (Ripper Street, Little Dorrit) plays a doting father to his young daughter, Clara (Mackenzie Foy). To clarify, in the original story “Clara” was the name of the young girl’s doll. But in the multiple incarnations of the classic story, characters’ names sometimes jump around.

In the just released trailer (August 8) for the Disney live-action film — narrated by Morgan Freeman, who plays Drosselmeyer — it’s Christmas Eve and Clara is missing her deceased mother. Unable to sleep, she wakes to find her gifts, including a nutcracker, have come to life. As well, the gingerbread cookies are now a band of soldiers. Together they fight off an army of mice.

In the new film, Clara is transported to a magical realm, and the Sugar Plumb Fairy (Keira Knightley) helps her navigate this alternate universe:

If you thought you spotted Dame Helen Mirren in the above teaser clip, you’re right. She takes on the role of Mother Ginger. Alas, we don’t get a glimpse of Miranda Hart as Dew Drop Fairy, but that may be because Disney doesn’t want to give everything away in the first clip.

The film’s all-star cast also includes Richard E. Grant, Jack Whitehall and ballerina Misty Copeland.

Perhaps the best-known adaptation of Hoffman’s story was Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky‘s 1893 ballet, The Nutcracker. It’s been recreated countless times, from performances by drama students and local community theaters to the New York City Ballet and The Royal Ballet.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is set to hit theaters on November 2.

Are you excited to see Matthew Macfadyen on the big screen? 

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By Brigid Brown