In case you mistakenly thought that the star of Disney’s 2010 Alice in Wonderland and its forthcoming sequel was Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska), let us disabuse you of that notion. The true star appears to be Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter, because Disney has signed on Depp for Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass long before any other castmember has even thought about committing.
Then there’s the interesting casting of Rhys Ifans as the Mad Hatter’s father. Basically, you had better love tea parties and wacky headwear if you want to enjoy the second Wonderland movie.
The official Disney press release announcing the start of pre-production refers to Depp’s character as “the Mad Hatter—Hatter Tarrant Hightopp.” Groan. Ifans will play Zanik Hightopp, who we’re guessing is either totally straight-laced—inspiring his son to rebel—or just as off his rocker. Considering it’s
Wonderland Underland, probably the latter.
Look, we get it. Disney likes to showcase Depp’s unique takes on archetypal characters. They also like to boost the wackiness by casting someone as his dad (though no word yet if Keith Richards will appear in Pirates of the Caribbean 5). But at least we’ve got the rest of the cast returning—including Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter—as well as some fresh meat to balance out the Mad Hatter love: Sacha Baron Cohen is joining the cast as Time.
Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass comes to theaters May 27, 2016 and can’t be stopped. For anything.
Photo: Walt Disney