I was not a fan of Tim Burton’s Alice In Wondreland from a few years back. I thought that its stated theme of Alice learning to not conform to other’s expectations of her was at odds with the screenplay making her accept the warrior role that virtually every character insisted she was fated for. That and Johnny Depp was uncharacteristically awful in it.
But the film made a couple of truckloads of money, just over a billion dollars at the worldwide box office. So that means a sequel, which Disney has announced has started filming today. As we’ve known for some time, Burton is out of the director’s chair, being replaced by James Bobin. Most of the original cast is back and in the press release below you can glean a few clues as to what the plot may be.
Disney’s “Alice In Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass” begins principal photography this week, featuring an award-winning production team and all-star ensemble cast, including Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen. James Bobin (“The Muppets,” “Muppets Most Wanted”) helms the film, which revisits Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories with an all-new new tale that travels back to Underland—and back in Time. “Alice In Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass” is produced by Joe Roth (“Maleficent,” “Alice in Wonderland”), Jennifer Todd (“Alice In Wonderland,” “Memento”), Suzanne Todd (“Alice In Wonderland,” “Memento”) and Tim Burton (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Frankenweenie”). John G. Scotti (“Muppets Most Wanted,” “The Muppets”) is the executive producer; Linda Woolverton (“Maleficent,” “Alice In Wonderland,” “Beauty and the Beast”) penned the screenplay. Shooting on location and at Shepperton Studios in England, the film is slated for release on May 27, 2016.
The all-star ensemble cast includes:
Johnny Depp (“Pirates of the Caribbean” films, “Alice In Wonderland,” “Mortdecai,” “Black Mass”) returns to the big screen as the Mad Hatter—Hatter Tarrant Hightopp.
Anne Hathaway (“Les Misérables,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Alice In Wonderland,” “Rachel’s Getting Married”) portrays the White Queen—Mirana.
Mia Wasikowska (“Tracks,” “Jane Eyre” and “Alice In Wonderland”) once again appears as Alice Kingsleigh, who’s on a quest to help the Mad Hatter.
Helena Bonham Carter (“Cinderella,” “Les Misérables,” “Alice In Wonderland”) returns as the Red Queen—Iracebeth.
Rhys Ifans (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I,” “Nanny McPhee Returns,” “The Amazing Spider-Man”) fills the shoes of Zanik Hightopp, the Mad Hatter’s father.
Matt Lucas (“The Labrynth,” “Alice In Wonderland”) returns to the revelry in a dual role as Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
Ed Speleers (TV’s “Downton Abbey,” “Eragon”) portrays James Harcourt in the film.
And Sacha Baron Cohen (“Hugo,” “Les Misérables”) was called on to bring Time to the big screen.
“Alice In Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass” also boasts an extraordinary voice cast.
Stephen Fry (“24: Live Another Day,” “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” “Alice In Wonderland”) is back as the voice of the Cheshire Cat.
Toby Jones (“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Infamous,” “The Girl”) provides the voice of Wilkins.
Alan Rickman (“Harry Potter” film series, “Alice In Wonderland,” director/actor/co-writer “A Little Chaos”) returns as the voice of the Blue Caterpillar.
Michael Sheen (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” Parts 1 & 2, “Alice In Wonderland,” “The Queen,” “Frost Nixon”) once again serves as the voice of the White Rabbit.
Timothy Spall (“Mr. Turner,” “The Kings Speech,” “Harry Potter,” “Alice In Wonderland”) returns to voice Bayard.
BAFTA-winning actor, writer and comedian Paul Whitehouse (BBC’s “Harry and Paul’s Story of the 2s” and “The Fast Show”; “Alice In Wonderland,” “Corpse Bride”) is back as the March Hare.
Barbara Windsor (“Carry On,” “EastEnders,” “Alice In Wonderland”) provides the voice of Dormouse again.
The film welcomes back several key members of the “Alice In Wonderland” team, including award-winning composer Danny Elfman (“Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Big Eyes,” Silver Linings Playbook”), three-time Oscar®-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood (“Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Chicago”), who won Oscar, BAFTA and Satellite awards, among others, for her work on “Alice In Wonderland,” and five-time Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Ken Ralston (“Forrest Gump,” “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”), who won a Satellite Award for best visual effects for “Alice In Wonderland.”
Bobin’s award-winning production team also includes Oscar®-winning production designer Dan Hennah (“King Kong,” “The Hobbit” trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Oscar for “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”), and Stuart Dryburgh (“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” Oscar nomination for “The Piano”) as director of photography. The film welcomes Oscar-winning make-up and hair designer Peter King (“Lord of the Rings: Return of the King,” Oscar nominee for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”), and Oscar winner Neil Corbould (“Gravity,” “Gladiator”) is special effects supervisor. Andrew Weisblum (“Noah,” Oscar nominee “Black Swan”) is editor.