Sneak Peak Into the Looking Glass

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Published July 27, 2009

 

Though the Mad Hatter’s role in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was never more than a cameo, Johnny Depp’s turn as the unhinged Unbirthday host will likely be the main event in Tim Burton’s Hollywood adaptation of Alice in Wonderland (in theaters March 2010). The official teaser trailer suggests that Depp has once again turned out the type of show-stealing performance that gave the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise reason to exist. With a big, bright orange afro and a purple wardrobe of suit and top hat, there’s no telling where Burton drew his inspiration this time around. Carrot Top? Tiny Tim?
 
Burton has assembled a familiar court of associates. In addition to Depp, there’s also his dark-eyed muse Helena Bonham Carter (Big Fish, Sweeney Todd) as a monster-headed Red Queen and Danny Elfman, king of Haunted-House-style tunes featured in Burton’s Beetle Juice, supplying the relentlessly thumping score. And judging from the wildly fantastical images in the short trailer, Burton hasn’t scaled back on the special effects. Particularly memorable are dumpy-looking digitally-created identical twins Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, along with some sort of gargantuan, fang-bearing furry dog. (I suppose we’ll have to wait until closer to release to see a glimpse of Christopher Lee’s Jabberwocky or Alan Rickman’s smoking Caterpillar). Either way, the film’s most fascinating effect of all will probably be Mr. Depp.