Lewis Carroll actually wrote a sequel to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” – the primary source material for the many Alice in Wonderland movies released over the past century – titled “Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There.”
However, the currently-in-development followup to Disney and filmmaker Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland adaptation will have to chart a different course, as the film is (technically) itself a sequel to Carroll’s original story – picking up with Alice (played by Mia Wasikowska) on the cusp of adulthood, as she returns to
Underland Wonderland and leads a revolt against the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter).
Variety is reporting that James Bobin – the director of Disney’s The Muppets and next year’s sequel The Muppets… Again! – has begun early talks to direct the sequel to Burton’s adaptation, which is being developed under the working title Into the Looking Glass; though, chances are that Disney will go with a more easy-sell (re: on-the-nose) official title, like Alice in Wonderland 2. The film is being scripted by Linda Woolverton, who also penned Burton’s adaptation and Disney’s upcoming revisionist Sleeping Beauty movie, Maleficent.
Meanwhile, The Wrap is cautioning that Bobin’s not at all locked down yet, as he still needs to meet up with the sequel’s producers – Joe Roth, Suzanne and Jennifer Todd – once he passes his first test (so to speak), which will be presented in the form of a meeting with Johnny Depp (who portrayed a more vulnerable, Carrot-Top version of the Mad Hatter in Burton’s movie). Depp, as far as we know, isn’t locked down for the sequel yet, but there’s no question: Disney won’t make a followup to the $1 billion-grossing Alice without him.
Bobin would, no doubt, bring a strikingly different sense of whimsy to the Alice in Wonderland sequel, in keeping with his good-natured satirical approach on the HBO TV series Da Ali G Show and Flight of the Conchords, and the more accessible (but still wry and quirky) approach to humor he took during The Muppets. He very much deserves credit for helping to make that film a pleasing affair for many old and young fans of the late Jim Henson’s puppet creations; in fact, he may be a better fit to capture the essence of Carroll’s upside-down society than Burton was.
On a related note: Disney prefers to keep its prize ponies around – and is wiling to pay top dollar in order to do so – which further guarantees that Depp will return in the Mouse House’s Alice in Wonderland sequel, in addition to him committing to the studio’s Pirates of the Caribbean 5 (yep, another one of those) and the Into the Woods musical adaptation. That’s just another reason why a deal with Bobin could very well end up being finalized.
How about it – James Bobin as the director for the Alice in Wonderland sequel, yay or nay? Or are you still waiting to find out what the film’s going to be about (after Burton’s questionable first installment), before you throw your weight behind it?