Depp and Wasikowska To Return in Disney Alice in Wonderland Film Sequel

Depp HatterAll questions of quality aside, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland film grossed shocking amounts of money at the box office globally. We have noted previously that Disney was already planning the inevitable sequel, and Johnny Depp was rumored to be returning as the Mad Hatter. Rolling Stone magazine has now confirmed that both Depp and Mia Wasikowska (Alice) will reprise their roles in Alice in Wonderland 2. Burton, however, will not be directing this time around. That job will fall to James Bobbin (The MuppetsFlight of the Conchords).

The exact details of the plot for the sequel have not been divulged by Disney, but given the mischmasch screenwriter Linda Woolverton made of the two Alice books in the first film, it’s anyone’s guess what the storyline will be for the second film. A prequel? One long tangent off the first movie? One can only wonder what Lewis Carroll would have thought of Alice as a sword-wielding superhero. I suspect he would have strongly questioned (as do I) whether putting a sword in a young woman’s hand and making her a slayer was really the best way to “empower” her. Let’s hope the sequel is truer to at least the spirit of the original works.  Otherwise, why use Carroll’s characters at all, why not write an original story? (Oh, right–the sheer convenience of instant character recognition and endless marketing potential of all things Alice.)

Still, Depp and Wasikowka are both always well worth watching (if you haven’t seen the latter’s version of Jane Eyre, she’s wonderful in it).  So here’s hoping Disney somehow comes up with a frabjous script the second time around. And if Disney is really smart, they will find a way to persuade Helena Bonham Carter to reprise her scene-stealing turn as the Red Queen, too.  That was the performance in the first film that really made people lose their heads.


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?