Disney’s Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass already has a release date set for May 27th 2016, with The Muppets and The Muppets Most Wanted director James Bobin at the helm. Both Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska are to return as The Mad Hatter and Alice, and now Helena Bonham Carter is in final negotiations to reprise her role as The Red Queen.
The first Alice in Wonderland, directed by Tim Burton, grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, and the sequel is expected to be a massive hit. No plot details have been released for the sequel, but directed James Bobin recently spoke with Collider about some aspects of his sequel.
Firstly the director spoke of his love of writer Lewis Carroll, history and ruins:
“The thing about me is that my secret passion is history. My films have a lot of historical context; I’m a huge fan of ruins. You see a lot of ruin work in my movies, I like ruins. So the idea of doing a movie that is not only historical but also fantastical, like a fantasy world, I couldn’t pass it up. It’s one of the things I really wanted to do, and I’m also a huge fan of Lewis Carroll. In England he’s this incredibly influential, basically comedy writer. Lewis Carroll is known as a fantasy guy, but if you read the book as an allegory of the world or satire on the world and how it worked in those days, you can trace like Lewis Carroll to Monty Python; they’re part of the same family to me. And so it felt like something I would find interesting, and that’s all I ask of my work, that it’s interesting to me. Because I do it, as you know, to a very deep level, and so you spend a lot of time doing this stuff, so you have to love the material. And I love Lewis Carroll, so I’m really fascinated about doing it.”
Bobin then went on to speak of hiring The Hobbit production designer Dan Hennah, and spoke of how the new Underland will be slightly different, but just as enjoyable to be in as Burton’s version:
“I have hired Dan Hennah, who did The Hobbit, which was beautiful and Lake-Town particularly impressed me. This one is a slightly different—it’s set in Underland but it’s in different parts of Underland, so it has a slightly more human world. I can’t really talk about it very much, but I certainly knew that the work he showed in The Hobbit was so spectacularly good [so] he’d be perfect for this.”
“The movie is not a real action movie. The movie is a movie where you wanna create a world where you’re happy to spend two hours of your life. You wanna be there and think, ‘What’s around that corner? I love being in this place.’ And that’s what it felt like in the first movie, I liked being in Underland and I love the idea that we’re gonna create that world again, a place where you’re happy to spend time”
Finally, Bobin talked about 3D, as it is expected that the sequel will indeed use the format once more:
“Alice is in a Victorian fantasy land, and nowhere suits 3D better than that. There’s no limits to new ideas and what you can do, but also at the same time you have this great palette of Victoriana to use to create a fantastical world, and that to me is very fun because I did history at University, my wife is a historian, history’s my thing. For me, it’s an opportunity to try and recreate the world I love from the past in this really interesting way.”