It's been 5 years since we fell down the rabbit hole with Tim Burton's Alice in his colorful re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland. Fans have been squirming to catch a glimpse of the inevitable sequel for quite some time now. About two months ago, Disney gave us just enough teaser information to ignite an overwhelming desire to experience the continuance of Alice's story with Alice Through the Looking Glass. Along with a definite release date of May 27th, 2016, Disney unveiled basic plot points and cast information that have Alice fans everywhere delighted and curious (and curiouser). Being a fan myself, I can't wait to escape my world once again and discover the secrets Wonderland has yet to reveal.
It's important to remember that the 'Alice' tale Tim Burton told us is more like a sequel to the original book. Elements from both of Carroll's books were used in the first film. They were told in a different context to complement the fact that Burton's Alice is 12 years older than the literary Alice. So what's the 2016 sequel going to be about? That's the exciting part: its an all new story! Through the Looking Glass will be a sequel to Carroll's second book. Disney has given us a few key plot factors to ponder over while we wait impatiently for the release of this new and original continuance of the 'Alice' culture.
All In Good Time
When we left Alice 5 years ago, she had returned home to embark on a business venture at sea. Through the Looking Glass chronicles her return to Underland only to discover the kingdom in great turmoil. The Mad Hatter's insanity has grown darker and more dangerous, leaving Alice no choice but to turn to Father Time (Sacha Baron Cohen), a hybrid creature that's half human and half clock, to embark on a perilous journey through the past to save her beloved friend. But is Time on Alice's side?
This little piece of the puzzle sends me reeling with intrigue. Sacha Baron Cohen? I can't wait to see that wonderful casting choice play out! I'm also extremely invested in discovering the backgrounds of Underland's most loveable personas, especially that of the Hatter. Johnny Depp has gone to dark places before in other roles, and I'm extremely interested to see where he takes this darker development of his lovably maniacal character.
Like Father, Like Son?
Most of the original cast has returned for the long awaited sequel. Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, and Timothy Spall will reunite to continue Alice's tale. Along with Father Time, another new face will enter the realm of Underland: Zanik Hightopp (Rhys Ifans), the Hatter's father.
Left in the dark to ponder what role he may play, I have many curiosities. Will he only show up in Alice's journey to the past? If so, what kind of father was he? Did he contribute to the Hatter's eccentricities? If he does make an appearance in the present, will he be there to help or hinder? Unfortunately, we will have over 6 months to make our own assumptions.
Massive Shoes To Fill
Tim Burton will return for Through the Looking Glass, but not as the director. Taking on the role as the film's producer, he is passing the torch to James Bobin. James directed both of the recent Muppet reboot movies and is expected to bring the best of himself to the next Alice installment. Some believe he may even create a film able to rival the success of it's predecessor. I'm interested to see what Bobin will bring to the story in the hopes that his personal touch will add to the experience without sacrificing Burton's elements that made the first one so great.
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