It’s been four years since Tim Burton’s visually spectacular Alice in Wonderland adaptation went down the rabbit hole to massive box-office success (with a $1.025 billion haul, it stands as the fifteenth highest-grossing film of all time) and awards attention (including two Oscars for Costume Design and Art Direction). Now, Disney is finally getting close to beginning production on a sequel. Through the Looking Glass, as the project is now known, is set to hit screens in 2016, and the studio is currently firming up a cast of familiar and fresh faces.
In not-so-surprising news, Variety is reporting that Helena Bonham Carter is close to signing on to reprise her role as the villainous Red Queen. If she finalizes her deal, she’ll will join previously confirmed actors Mia Wasikowska, returning as Alice, and Johnny Depp, reprising his role as the Hatter.
It’s currently unknown whether the sequel will feature the return of characters played by Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Alan Rickman, Michael Sheen or Stephen Fry, but it would be very surprising if Through the Looking Glass didn’t include at least some of those actors. In terms of new faces, Sacha Baron Cohen and Bomber Hurley-Smith have both been rumored for roles.
Linda Woolverton returns to write the script for Through the Looking Glass, and James Bobin, who helmed The Muppets and this summer’s Muppets Most Wanted for Disney, is on board to direct.
Plot details have been kept tightly under wraps by Bobin and Woolverton, though the sequel will apparently take place in a different part of Underland and include more Victorian fantasy elements than its predecessor. Given the sequel’s title, there may be a possibility that characters from Underland cross over into Victorian era England at some point but, at this point, discussing plot points can only be a matter of speculation.
Through the Looking Glass arrives May 27, 2016.