When it was revealed that Tim Burton and Dorian Gray ( I mean Johnny Depp) would be taking us all down Lewis Carroll's rabbit hole in 2010's 3D IMAX adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, a million bat-filled brains exploded with joy. Burton, who could perhaps be held personally responsible for the popularity of black-and-white striped stockings, has stocked his fantasia with a panoply of freaky faves, from Crispin Glover ("I can kick high!") and baby mama Helena Bonham Carter to Hammer Horror super-spook Christopher Lee. Anticipation is already running high just from the names attached and the few photos floating around the Internet. Empire Magazine has an interview with Burton in its issue coming out Thursday in the UK, along with a few photos from the movie.
But what about the other flicks that are getting our fishnets in a tangle? Naturally, Burton has a slew of projects coming up, including a big-screen adaptation of Dark Shadows with Depp rumored to be Barnabas Collins, and a full-length version of Frankenweenie, but there are a few other films coming out or in production (or in perpetual production) that make it a good time to get your goth on.
9: A desolate, barren future that's populated by robots and sackcloth dolls with crazy goggle-like eyes? Sign me up! 9 is produced by Burton and crazy futuristic director Timur Bekmambetov, and stars hobbit-y Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, the girl who was almost David Bowie's goblin queen, Jennifer Connolly, Martin Landeau, and, yes, Crispin Glover. That castle in the Czech Republic has very high heating bills or something. (9 arrives in theaters 9/9/09.)
Antichrist: Lars von Trier's The Kingdom was a fantastically weird and creepy TV mini-series which I much prefer to his other work like Breaking the Waves or Dancer in the Dark, which made me want to slit my f*cking wrists and also take some Dramamine. Although some critics are not so excited about Antichrist, tell me you're not at least a little curious about Willem Dafoe as a shrink with a soothing demeanor whose wife, played by Charlotte Gainsbourg, goes bonkers in the woods. Or does she?? Here's the trailer. Those lucky ducks at Cannes will find out first.
The Countess: As in the wonderful 2 Days in Paris, Julie Delpy is the writer, director, producer, composer, and star of The Countess. However, as the infamous Erzebet Bathory, she will be bathing in the blood of virgins instead of tying balloons around her lovers' penises for photographs. Judging by the trailer, there's definitely some blood used as face cream, a love affair with a 21-year-old man, and lots of period costumes. Sounds like a great date movie. Cinematical previously reported that Delpy might face some competition in the bloody countess department with Bathory, which was written and directed by Juraj Jakubisko, but it's unclear when US audiences will able to get their peepers on this Czech import. The Countess played at this year's Berlinale, but there's currently no news of a US release date.
Death: The High Cost of Living: Gaiman is still attached to direct the long-awaited adaptation of his Sandman spin-off, but when, oh when? Rumors about a movie adaptation of Death have been floating around longer than Gaiman fans care to remember. Gaiman is still attached to direct, and Guillermo del Toro is on board as executive producer, but it seems that it's stalled since New Line was absorbed into Warner Bros. (The relationship between DC Comics and Warner Bros. requires that a WB studio does the film.) Emmy Rossum told an MTV reporter on the red carpet for Dragonball: Evolution that she's read Neil Gaiman's goodies and possibly blew up Neil's spot a little, saying, "'He is making Black Orchid,' she said... 'And he's also making Death too.'" She gave the coy "no comment" answer to questions about whether or not she's talked to the comic god about the projects, if, in fact, they're ever surfacing. Put her in a top hat and let's get the show on the road, already!
Alice: The only tidbits I can find about this in-development project, based on the psychedelically scary video game American McGee's Alice, is from American McGee's blog itself, where he posted an email interview with producer Scott Faye who shared some details.
"The Alice project is presently in 'turnaround' from Universal Studios. Jon and Erich Hoeber have written a very compelling feature film screenplay adaptation of the Alice game. Their screenplay will certainly serve as a jumping off point as we find a new studio home for the project."
Meanwhile, Electronic Arts has announced a sequel to the game called The Return of American McGee's Alice, which is currently in pre-production. What has our blood-spattered, machete-wielding heroine been up to in the past ten years, besides languishing in "in-development" purgatory? I plan to find out as soon as I can.