Johnny Depp has a slew of upcoming films ranging from an Indian to a mobster to a vampire to the Mad Hatter. Out of all of his upcoming movies, I am most excited for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.
Filming for the feature starring Mia Wasikowska as Alice and Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter began just a few months ago, but filming has already been completed! Other notables in the feature include Anne Hathaway as The White Queen, Alan Rickman as The Caterpillar, and Stephen Fry as The Cheshire Cat. There is a great article from the LA Times that discusses this new film which will be released on March 5, 2010. Tim Burton has very strong beliefs regarding past depictions and remakes of Lewis Carroll's classic tale, as well as storytelling in general:
It's a funny project (Alice in Wonderland). The story is obviously a classic with iconic images and ideas and thoughts. But with all the movie versions, well, I've just never seen one that really had any impact to me. It's always just a series of weird events. Every character is strange and she's just kind of wandering through all of the encounters as just a sort of observer. The goal is to try to make it an engaging movie where you get some of the psychology and kind of bring a freshness but also keep the classic nature of 'Alice.' And, you know, getting to do it in 3-D fits the material quite well. So I'm excited about making it a new version but also have the elements that people expect when they think of the material.
Although I like it, Tim Burton doesn't believe that Disney's Alice in Wonderland (or any other depiction of Carroll's book) is a fair representation of the classic tale, so he wants to make a new portrayal of the book:
Yeah, I know, it's just, 'Oh, this character's weird' and 'Oh, that character's weird.' I can't really recall a version where I felt really engaged by it. So that's the goal, just to try to give it a gravity that most film versions haven't had.
I do agree that Disney's Alice in Wonderland isn't a perfect representation of the book by Lewis Carroll, I love the movie; the animation is superb, the characters are really well crafted, and there are some very funny and random parts that make the movie a childhood classic.
I look forward to seeing Burton's strange twist on the timeless tale, but I am more excited to see Johnny Depp in a role that was made for him: the Mad Hatter. Tim Burton agrees that Johnny Depp will go a good job in this role:
He loves doing that (conjuring up oddballs). That's never a problem. He doesn't like to be the same way twice. That's good, it always keeps it fresh and all. And he likes the material we have here and he gets it. It's nice to have people involved that are fans of the material and all.
I think that Depp will do a very good job depicting the Mad Hatter, although I imagine it will be similar to his role as Willy Wonka.
The article continues on with an interview between an LA Times reporter and Burton discussing various topics, including his opinion on The Dark Knight and what he think about Beetlejuice nowadays.
How exciting! I love the story of Alice in Wonderland, and I always like Burton's interpretation and Depp's depiction of classic stories. Although it seems like Burton has gotten himself into a rut of movie after movie, basically trying to reclaim his childhood stories which he seems to think have been defiled (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sleepy Hollow, Big Fish, and Sweeney Todd which was originally a play).
Regardless of Burton's motives, who doesn't want to see Alan Rickman play a caterpillar or Stephen Fry play a pink cat?