Johnny Depp has done a whole bunch of strange roles for Tim Burton and all of them turned out pretty great. Not fixing what ain't broke, the BFFs reteaming for Alice in Wonderland seemed like the natural course. LA Times caught up with Depp and Burton and, besides discussing the Batman franchise, was able to get around to Alice's Mad Hatter.
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp Discuss Madd Hatter
How do you re-invent Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, a story that is already so psychedelic that Burton needs to do little to make it crazier. How about this for some direction?
With "Alice in Wonderland," the defining pop-culture version of the story for modern American audiences is the 1954 Disney animated adaptation with its little blond Alice in her blue dress with white pinafore. That film was met with acidic reviews by the literary world (especially in England) for its bland and blunted vision of the Carroll classic. Burton is not a fan of the film, either, and, as with "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," it appears his mission is to reclaim a children's classic, resharpen its edges and remind everyone that sapping the weirdness out of a tale often renders it flat and forgettable.
It's a funny project. 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."
What you were expecting from Burton? The conversation gets a bit more specific on the Mad Hatter, so read it all here.
Alice in Wonderland opens to theaters on March 5, 2010.