Sequel in the Works for Disney-Burton-Woolverton Alice in Wonderland

In case you hadn’t already heard, regardless of what many Carrollians may have thought of Disney’s Tim Burton/Linda Woolverton Alice in Wonderland 3D flick, the film has grossed over $1 billion worldwide, so of course a sequel is in the works–penned yet again by Ms. Woolverton.  Apparently the sequel will be “inspired” by Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There.  Given that Ms. Woolverton has already shown her version of Alice “empowering” herself by slaughtering the Jabberwock (and drinking its purple blood, in true warrior style) in the first movie, one wonders what acts of violence Alice will be called upon to perform in the sequel to prove that she’s an “empowered” woman, with that pesky Jabberwock already out of the way.  Perhaps she’ll actually carve the mutton?  Perhaps she’ll carve up everyone in the banquet hall while she’s at it, for good measure.  Or maybe the Jabberwock’s female partner will make an enraged appearance for the finale?  One wonders whether Helena Bonham Carter will be asked back to fulfill the obligatory “evil Red Queen” role; she certainly was a highlight of the first film.  And given that the second book includes the character of “Hatta” we can almost certainly count on seeing the wacky countenance of Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter again.   It would certainly be nice to have Mia Wasikowska back in the lead role; she lent considerable grace to the first effort.  Let’s hope that this time around, Ms. Woolverton will at least entertain the possibility that Alice can take charge of things without drawing blood.  You know, the way Lewis Carroll’s original Alice did.  We can dream, can’t we?

Wonderland vs. Wonderland on Broadway?

Edward Staudenmayer (Rabbit) in Wonderland: A New Musical

Wonderland: A New Musical (formerly known as Wonderland: A New Musical Adventure) started previews today, March 21st, at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway. It stars Janet Dacal, who created the role of the “modern-day Manhattan mom named Alice” in Tampa Bay, alongside former Miss America Kate Shindle as Mad Hatter. It will open officially April 17th, assuming multiple actors don’t break bones and it gets pushed back six months.

However, there’s some other Broadway buzz which might cast a bandersnatchian shadow over the proceedings. Disney, whose Broadway franchises include the hugely successful Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, has announced they will turn their Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland, the sixth highest grossing film of all time, into a Broadway Musical. And Tim Burton himself has agreed to help with the design. Linda Woolverton, who wrote the screenplay for the movie as well as the screenplay for The Lion King and the scripts for Broadway’s Beauty and the Beast and Aida, will be writing the script for this also.

If Wonderland: A New Musical is a long-running hit (as composer Frank Wildhorn’s previous shows Jekyll & Hyde and The Scarlet Pimpernel have both been), could there be dueling Wonderlands on Broadway!?

Meanwhile, here’s a “sneak peek” of the new Wonderland: A New Musical, if you can’t afford the $49-$132 ticket price.

O Absalom, my caterpillar!

A writer named Steve A Wiggins (“part-time Academic” & “failed priest” according to his bio) wonders on his blog Sects & Violence in the Ancient World about screenwriter Linda Woolverton’s choice in naming the caterpillar the biblical name Absalom:

Supposing this to be nothing more than the reassignment of a fated biblical name associated with failed attempts at kingship, I simply let the reference pass. Until the chrysalis scene. There he was, Absalom hanging from a plant, just like David’s son swayed from a tree according to 2 Samuel. This mysterious scene in the battle of Ephraim Forest had captured my attention before when I wrote an article on Absalom, eventually published in the Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages.

Read the whole interesting blog post, Ashtar in Wonderland.