— by RACHEL COYNE —
Curiouser and curiouser …
“Alice in Wonderland” certainly isn’t hurting for movie adaptations. But this time, it’s Tim Burton on hand to tackle Lewis Carroll’s literary masterpiece, and if there’s anyone who can offer a fresh take on the oft-visited Wonderland, it’s him.
While “Alice in Wonderland” may be considered a Walt Disney Production, this definitely isn’t Disney’s “Alice.” This time around, Alice is a bit older and returning to a Wonderland that is a bit more sinister than the one she visited as a child. All the classic characters are there — the Mad Hatter, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Cheshire Cat — but each has a darker edge to them, making Alice’s new adventure more harrowing.
This version stars the two loves of Burton’s life — Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter — as the Mad Hatter and the Red Queen. Mia Wasikowska is Alice, and is still unknown enough for the audience to have no preconceived notion of how she will portray the beloved storybook girl, yet garnered enough positive responses to her breakout role in HBO’s “In Treatment” to generate a bit of buzz. The cast is rounded out with a who’s-who of awesomeness, including Anne Hathaway, Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry and Crispin Glover.
The trailer focuses a bit heavily on the Mad Hatter, making Alice almost seem like the secondary character. I’m assuming this is because Depp is the biggest name in the cast and likely to generate the most interest in the movie. Because if this turns out to be “Tim Burton Presents: Johnny Depp Behaving Oddly With Alice,” I know several moviegoers (myself included) who are going to be crying, “Off with his head!”
“Alice in Wonderland” invites you down the rabbit hole on March 5, 2010.