According to Disney, Alice in Wonderland 2's about to start principal photography. The House of Mouse also released an updated list of who's who.
Disney's Alice in Wonderland: Through The Looking Glass is a go. Disney's Insider reports principal photography begins this week on the sequel to 2010's Alice in Wonderland. While Tim Burton (Batman) is not directing, he will be taking on a producer role.
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Instead James Bobin (The Muppets, The Muppets Most Wanted) will be taking over and controlling the chaos of Wonderland. Oops, make that Underland. It's "an all-new new tale that travels back to Underland—and back in Time."
Early this year, Bobin told Collider the sequel will be set in "a slightly more human world," but still maintain the feel of the original," a place where you’re happy to spend time.”
At the time, Screen Rant's Sandy Schaefer noted how academic study on Lewis Carroll's impact through Alice in Wonderland has transitioned from individual psychology to wider sociological commentary. Bobin's history background seems to imply a need to tie in the two elements together, given his love of the 2010 adapation. Growing up as a fan of Carroll offers a personal connection for the director.
Bobin will be in charge of keeping the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) in proper order, as adventurous Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) rejoins the topsy-turvy world in order to help her odd friend. Will this help revive Depp's somewhat wobbly leading man status? Maybe.
Other returning cast members are Anna Hathaway (Les Misérables) as the ethereal White Queen Mirana, Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street) as the demented, bobble-headed Red Queen Iracebeth, and Matt Lucas (Little Britain USA) as the cagey Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
Voice actors are back in action, too. Stephen Fry'll be creeping the world out with that Cheshire Cat grin, while Toby Jones (Captain America: The First Avenger) reprises Wilkins. The voice of Alan Rickman (Die Hard) will slither among the mushrooms to offer advice as the Blue Caterpillar Absalom at same time Timothy Spall's (Harry Potter) hound dog Bayard will skid to a stop.
Meanwhile, the White Rabbit'll hop onto the screen, thanks to Michael Sheen (Underworld) and BAFTA-winning actor Paul Whitehouse (Corpse Bride) will manage all regal duties as the March Hare. And Dormouse's cynical, little voice will be played by Barbara Windsor (EastEnders).
As with most sequels, some new voices and actors are arriving. The Mad Hatter's dad Zanik Hightopp turns up in style with Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider Man) playing the role. Since the Red Queen faced quite the dethroning in Alice in Wonderland, Through The Looking Glass needs a new villain.
In January, it was announced Sacha Baron Cohen had been tapped to fill the role of Time, but precious little information is available on the villainous role. James Harcourt's to be played by Ed Speelers (Eragon), but like Time, little is known about the character.
Composer Danny Elfman (Silver Linings Playbook, Fifty Shades of Grey) is out to haunt the audience with another eerie chorus of "Alice." Costumer designer Colleen Atwood's looking to add a second Oscar and BAFTA for the Alice series.
VFX supervisor Ken Rolston (Forrest Gump, Return of the Jedi) shall once again weave together visual effects and film to create the world of Wonderland. Linda Woolverton's set to return as screenwriter as well.
Bobin's production team includes designer Dan Hennah (The Hobbit), who earned an Oscar for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and Stuart Dryburgh (Bridget Jones’ Diary), who earned an Oscar nomination for The Piano.
As a historian, the director wanted to play up the "Victorian fantasy land." He sees Underland as "as an opportunity to try and recreate the world I love from the past in this really interesting way.” The deviation will help since Hennah's replacing Robert Stromberg.
And more Oscar-winners are on board since Peter King (Lord of the Rings: Return of the King) also earned a nomination for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Oscar-winner Neil Corbould (Gravity, Gladiator) will be in charge of the special effects and Oscar-nominee Andrew Weisblum (Black Swan) is to edit the film.
Seems like the production will be full of award-winning talent bent on creating a second smash-hit for the Disney Wonderland mythos.
Alice in Wonderland: Through The Looking Glass will premiere May 27, 2016.