Everyone remembers Tim Burton’s visually stunning but intellectually flat Alice in Wonderland from 2010. However, what some viewers of that hugely successful fantasy film (it made over a billion worldwide and ranks as the sixteenth highest grossing film of all time) may not be aware of is that Alice in Wonderland 2 is still moving forward, four years later. Officially titled Through the Looking Glass, the sequel has James Bobin (The Muppets) attached to direct and is now filling out its cast.
Today, it was revealed that Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man) will be joining the film in the pivotal role of Zanik Hightopp, the Mad Hatter’s father. Johnny Depp is already on board to reprise the part of the Hatter, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination back in 2010. Fun fact: at 50, Depp is actually four years older than the 46-year-old Ifans, but one would imagine that aging up Ifans will be one of the lesser feats of makeup wizardry accomplished in Through the Looking Glass.
A talented actor, Ifans is known best for his roles in Notting Hill and CBS’s Elementary, but he’s no stranger to taking on special effects-heavy parts. To play Dr. Curt Connors’ scaly alter ego, the Lizard, in The Amazing Spider-Man, the actor worked in motion-capture. However, taking on the role of Zanik will almost certainly be Ifans’ most makeup-dependent part to date.
No plot details are yet available, though the first film’s scribe Linda Woolverton will be returning to pen the sequel. Mia Wasikowska will be back as Alice, and Helena Bonham Carter is set to reprise the role of the Red Queen. New this time around will be Sacha Baron Cohen, playing a villainous character named Time.
Disney will release Through the Looking Glass on May 27th, 2016.