Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is one of those films that had a huge impact on the box office upon its release, but doesn’t seem to have left much of a cultural imprint in the five years since. Adapted for the screen by Maleficent writer Linda Woolverton, Alice in Wonderland wrestled Lewis Carrol’s original nonsense tale into the structure of a traditional fantasy epic, casting the grown-up Alice (Mia Wasikowska) as a “chosen one” destined to return to Wonderland (actually called Underland), battle the fearsome Jabberwocky and defeat the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter).
The Mad Hatter’s (Johnny Depp) funky Futterwacken dance never really caught on and Alice in Wonderland received mixed reviews upon its release, but money talks in Hollywood and a billion dollars talks very loudly. Thus, a sequel called Alice Through the Looking Glass is set to arrive this summer, with Burton stepping back into a producer role and handing the directorial reins over to James Bobin (The Muppets), with the screenplay once again written by Woolverton and much of the previous film’s cast returning.
On Valentine’s Day, it fell to the Queen of Hearts to provide a holiday reminder that Alice Through the Looking Glass is still on the way. In two short TV spots (combined into one video above), the Queen receives a thoughtful gift from Time – Time, in this case, being a person rather than a concept, played by Sacha Baron Cohen. In the second promo, she shares her most heartfelt feelings with the rest of Underland – because Valentine’s Day is a time to tell people how you really feel.
Returning cast members Wasikowska, Depp and Bonham Carter are joined by Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, Matt Lucas as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and the voice talents of Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat, Michael Sheen as the White Rabbit, and the late Alan Rickman as the Blue Caterpillar. Alongside Cohen, the other major new addition to the cast is Rhys Ifans, who plays the Mad Hatter’s father, Zanik Hightopp.
Alice Through the Looking Glass will arrive in theaters on the same day as X-Men: Apocalypse, and while these two blockbusters serve a slightly different target audience, it will be interesting to see which film comes out on top. Can Alice save Underland a second time?
Alice Through the Looking Glass opens in U.S. theaters on May 27th, 2016.