If there is anything the fairy tale-themed plots of NBC's Grimm and ABC's Once Upon a Time have shown, there's no shortage of interest in stories meshing law enforcement and the strange realm of fantasy.
Now The CW is planning to bring Alice in Wonderland to television in a similar manner with the police drama Wunderland.
Lewis Caroll's characters were last seen helping Disney rake in over a billion dollars worldwide in Tim Burton's version of Alice in Wonderland, so it's fair to say that the network, along with executive producers McG and frequent producing partner Peter Johnson, can see how this project might attract an audience.
Naturally, the script, by The Playboy Club scribe Chad Hodge, sees Alice in quite a different role than that of a waifish young girl alone in the fantastical and twisted realm of Wonderland. In this version, Alice is a police detective who happens to discover the world of Wonderland (or Wunderland) far beneath the streets of Los Angeles.
Of course, not much else is known about the series at the moment - which should provide everyone plenty of time to speculate on which characters will be featured in the series and just what the contemporary twists on all of them will be. In order to differentiate itself, Wunderland will have to work hard, considering so many iterations of the Alice in Wonderland characters have been seen over the years in such versions as the 1951 Disney animated film, the 1985 TV movie version featuring the likes of Sherman Hemsley, Scott Baio and Ringo Starr, and again with a distinctly darker take on the characters in American McGee's Alice video game.
Then again, with the specific challenges of a weekly television series being a factor, there is a good chance that the characters will be radically different from anything that's been seen before (i.e. just regular people) - if Alice as a cop in the city of angels is any indication of what direction the series might go with familiar faces like the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit and, of course, the Queen of Hearts.
If the concept sounds a little familiar, it's because The CW has several cops and fairy tales concepts going at the moment. Soon, the network will be premiering an updated version of Beauty and the Beast, featuring Smallville's Kristin Kreuk as - you guessed it - a homicide detective who crosses paths with a character straight out of a fairy tale. Meanwhile, as FOX is planning a possible Sleepy Hollow series from Fringe creators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, The CW has its eyes set on a similarly themed series from the creators of ABC's short-lived mother-on-a-rampage series, Missing. Furthermore, author Bret Easton Ellis and Twilight director Catharine Hardwick will be helping out the producers of the network's soon-to-ending Gossip Girl with Copeland Prep - a new high school drama featuring a unique fantasy-esque angle that involves students turning into monsters.
For his part, McG has built quite a relationship with The CW over the years, having served as a producer on two of the network's more popular shows, Supernatural and Nikita. When you consider the success of both series, it's not too hard to imagine Wunderland working as a strange amalgam of the two. Even though it's too soon to speculate whether or not that will be the case, it'll be interesting to see what Hodge manages to come up with considering his experience writing strong female leads on FOX's Tru Calling.
Screen Rant will have more updates on Wunderland as they are made available.
Source: Entertainment Weekly