Don’t get too excited, it may be a bit too soon to shine up that teapot and tea cups. Right on the heels of the release of much-anticipated Maleficent and previews for the upcoming Cinderella, Disney has announced that another live action version of one of its famed animated tales has just started production, Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass, but it won’t arrive in theaters until 2016, but boy is it packed with star-power.
As a sequel to the 2010 hit, began principal photography recently featuring returning cast members Johnny Depp (Mad Hatter), Anne Hathaway (White Queen), Mia Wasikowska (Alice) and Helena Bonham Carter (Red Queen/Queen of Hearts). The first Alice in Wonderland was directed by Tim Burton, but this time around he is just one of four producers. The new story, loosely based on Lewis Carroll’s book, is being directed by James Bobin who was at the helm of the two recent Muppets movies. The story itself has once again been penned by Linda Woolverton who wrote the first story as well as this summer’s hit, Maleficent and the animated classic Beauty and the Beast. Filming at Shepperton Studios in England, the film is slated for release on May 27, 2016.
Joining the classic cast of characters is Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man) as Zanik Hightopp, the Mad Hatter’s father and Sacha Baron Cohen (Les Misérables) was called on to bring the character, Time to the big screen.
Through the Looking Glass also boasts an extraordinary voice cast including Stephen Fry (Cheshire Cat), Toby Jones (Wilkins), Alan Rickman (Blue Caterpillar), Michael Sheen (White Rabbit),(Bayard), Paul Whitehouse (March Hare) and Barbara Windsor (Dormouse).
The film welcomes back several key members of the “Alice” team, including award-winning composer Danny Elfman, three-time Oscar®-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood and five-time Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Ken Ralston who won a Satellite Award for best visual effects for Alice In Wonderland.
Bobin’s award-winning production team also includes Oscar®-winning production designer Dan Hennah (King Kong, The Hobbit trilogy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy), and Stuart Dryburgh (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Oscar nomination for The Piano) as director of photography. The film welcomes Oscar-winning make-up and hair designer Peter King (Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Oscar nominee for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), and Oscar winner Neil Corbould (Gravity, Gladiator) is special effects supervisor. Andrew Weisblum (Noah, Black Swan) is editor.
Carroll’s works have such an interesting history when it comes to movie adaptations. Despite how popular his stories are, they usually don’t translate well to the cinema. Disney experienced this firsthand when the 1951 animated film did poorly. Disney lamented that the film had “no heart.” Still, the characters of Alice remain to be very popular among the Disney theme parks. The 2006 film seemed to figure out the right combination of honoring the original’s basic storyline and improving on it.