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ALICE IN WONDERLAND Cast Breakdown & Script Review

by Eli Reyes

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Well the Alice In Wonderland news just keeps coming in! Yesterday we got some amazing photos and concept art. And today we got some insight from Johnny Depp on what it was like playing The Mad Hatter. Well for all of you who are curious as to what the script is like, we have a review of the script from CC2K. I'll give you a quick SPOILER FREE introduction. But then we'll get into the spoiler territory after fair warning is given.

But first! I was curious as to who rounded out the rest of the cast, as you may be as well. So here's a breakdown of the actors and the characters they'll be playing. The movie will be a combination of live action, CG, and motion capture. It's due out March 5th 2010.

Mia Wasikowska (Defiance, In Treatment) as our heroine Alice.

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Johnny Depp as the truly mad, Mad Hatter. I just noticed that cup is filthy...

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Helena Bonham Carter as the decapitation loving Red Queen.

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Anne Hathaway as the white Queen.

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Michael Sheen will be the White Rabbit. He looks like a rabbit already! Good choice.

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Stephen Fry will voice the Chesire Cat.

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Alan Rickman will be the Caterpillar.

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Comedian Matt Lucas as Tweedledee And Tweedledum. This is just freaky looking. You may know lucas from Comedy Central "Krod Mandoon".

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Noah Taylor will be the March Hare.

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Crispin Glover will be the Knave of Hearts. He has the same haircut in this pic... weird.

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Christopher Lee will voice the Jabberwock.

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So what do you think of the casting choices? Let us know what you think of the look of the characters that have come out so far.

[The Alice In Wonderland script was] written by Linda Woolverton, who also co-wrote The Lion King, and had a part in Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, and the Teen Wolf cartoon, the script isn’t exactly an adaptation of the original story by Lewis Carroll, as it is an extension of it. Alice went to Wonderland as a child, and she’s now almost grown. She’s 17, and she’s back for more, but doesn’t remember her times there earlier.

THERE ARE SPOILERS IN WHAT'S WRITTEN BELOW.

 

YOU'VE BEEN WARNED. SCROLL DOWN.


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She’s about to be engaged, maybe. A rich suitor wants to marry her, and the opening scenes of the movie are of her engagement party. But she, of course, gets distracted by a white rabbit.


That crazy Rabbit! Don't you know Trix are for kids? So Alice is all grown up, but she doesn't wan to partake of the snooty highlife. It's been ten years, and you're still wearing that same blue dress? I'm joking.

The White Rabbit, goes after Alice because of an omen that she is the one to slay the Jabberwock, who guards the Red Queen’s empire. But when she arrives, she has no knowledge of this, or of Wonderland at all. She meets Tweedledee and Tweedledum and the Dormouse, the Cheshire Cat, the Catepillar, and of course the March Hare and the Mad Hatter.


Did the Chesire Cat from the Disney version give anyone else nightmares? Just me?

See, the good White Queen, of who these were all loyal subjects, has been banished by the bad Red Queen. She is much larger than everyone else and surrounds herself in a court full of people with enormous lips, or noses, or ears, as well as the Knave of Hearts, her most trusted aide.


You can see in the picture of Carter as the Red Queen, that her features our totally distorted. Her head is enormous compared to her body. So all of her subjects will probably look the same, if not worse.

The story, of course, is of Alice trying to fulfill the omen and find the sword that can slay the Jabberwock to save the White Queen and bring her back into power. That’s really all there is to it in the rather slight screenplay. The story moves quickly, relying on the fact that we already know these characters, I suppose (a quick IMDB search shows about 20 different versions from the past 50 years, including the most famous, the Disney animated film), and also the fact that Tim Burton is likely to add his brand of crazy to it. It’s hard to know what that will look like, but I imagine Wonderland will look somewhere between the Chocolate Factory and his version of Gotham City, since his films are never short on art direction.


I'm all about it being fast paced. Most of our generation is familiar with these characters. But there must be some sort of introduction to these characters seeing as Alice doesn't remember who they are. I worry that some kids won't get it though as well.

There’s also an odd love story that develops between Alice and the Hatter. I don’t know why this is necessary, maybe to juxtapose the love she doesn’t have in the real world, but it seems misplaced. Despite “Sexiest Man Alive” claims, Depp has never gone the romantic lead route. Especially lately, he plays dark, creepy, complicated men that aren’t interested in getting the girl at the end, so it’s an interesting way for the movie to go.


That just seems gross and unneeded. Sure Johnny Depp is suave as can be. But the Hatter is supposed to be crazy. And Burton's amped up the creepiness on him even further.

The other question mark is what will all of these characters look like? How much will be CGI? How much will be makeup? How much will be smoke and mirrors? Alice grows and shrinks and grows and shrinks. At one point, she rides inside the Mad Hatter’s hat. It will be interesting to see what Burton will do with all of that. Will it look ridiculous or cool? The motley crew of actors, especially Burton staple, Johnny Depp, will probably answer that question more than any effects. Will it be played dark or kooky? It’s hard to say. But then this week some pictures were released of the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen, and the White Queen. The pictures are super-creepy, and that gives me hope, but there’s really nothing in the script that gives me confidence that it will be a good movie one way or the other, but I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. Even if it’s as boring as the script reads, at least it will look cool. Burton always guarantees that at least.


That is definitely Burton's strong point. Some of his movies do drag a bit. But he's got enough going on visually to keep you invested. I think his best film so far has been Big Fish. Nothing felt overdone, but most importantly the story was solid, with many different layers to explore. So what do you think of the story? Do you think they should spend more time setting up the characters? Or just get into the action?!

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