In the most least surprising news of the week, Johnny Depp is pushing through a sequel to Disney’s $1 billion worldwide grossing Alice In Wonderland, just two weeks after his latest movie The Lone Ranger flopped on its arse.
Variety says Depp’s production company Infinitum Nihil has moved from Warner Bros to Disney and are now putting the wheels in motion on Through The Looking Glass that would see Depp reprise his role as the Mad Hatter from Tim Burton’s 2010 live-action/CGI adaptation, with original screenwriter Linda Woolverton again on writing duties.
Although the planned movie shares the same name as Lewis Carroll’s own follow-up to his classic tale about Alice and that fabled rabbit hole… it likely won’t resemble too much of the novel as Burton’s 2010 film was already a sequel of sorts to both Alice In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass.
Alice, the Red Queen, The White Queen and many of the other characters from the original are in Carroll’s follow-up, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the likes of Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway will return for this film, though it seems likely offers will be put out to them.
There’s no word yet on whether Tim Burton would direct. Obviously he’ll get asked to do it, but given his stance on hating sequels (the only one he ever made was Batman Returns and he did his best to make it tonally and artistically different from his original), we shouldn’t hold our breath that he’ll do it. Though if there was a movie he may return to, it could be Wonderland, given that Disney will throw obscene amounts of money at him to make it.
There was of course rumours back in May that The Muppets director James Bobin was courting the sequel and that could prove significant.
Once again then, when the tough gets going, Depp goes back to what works. The funny thing is, that was kind of what The Lone Ranger was supposed to be. A re-teaming at Disney with the talented director (Gore Verbinski) and writers and producers behind the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise, along with a Jack Sparrow inspired take on Tonto, how could it fail?
After two weeks of trying to figure that out, Disney have decided to blame the age old Western property, one that was never that huge to begin with, and are keen to make their money back from another Depp cash-cow. A fifth Pirates Of The Caribbean movie is set for 2015 and if they get their way, a second Alice In Wonderland movie may not be too far behind.
Depp’s currently filming The Dark Knight trilogy’s awesome cinematographer Wally Pfister’s debut film Transcendence, before moving on to the recently announced Mortdecai, a re-teaming with his Secret Window writer David Koepp at Lionsgate. He then looks likely to give his vocals a run for their money in Rob Marshall’s musical Into The Woods before he goes back to the money making cash-cows of Jack Sparrow, and then seemingly Mad Hatter.
Although Tonto may not ride again on our big screens, it’s clear Sparrow will sail the seven seas and the Mad Hatter will have more tea parties to host.
This article was first posted on July 12, 2013