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.