It's been a long time since I've read Alice in Wonderland. Long enough that the details are fuzzy even if the big picture and the major events remain pretty clear. Hopefully some kind soul can email me or leave a comment below explaining why I'm a moron who needs to do his research before he writes anything because I don't remember Alice in Wonderland looking or feeling anything like what I'm seeing in the new trailer (watch it after the jump). Why are there epic Lord of the Rings battles? Outside of Johnny Depp's casting, why is the Mad Hatter so incredibly prominent? Why is Alice wearing armor and wielding a sword at one point?
I'm definitely not opposed to changing things up for the film. In fact, the story needs a cinematic kick to the butt if it's going to work on the big screen at all. The original book is little more than a series of events with no narrative drive and reverses or turns to keep the story interesting. So if Tim Burton wants to shake things up, I say go for it.
Which brings me to the most potentially interesting thing about the new trailer: it reveals that this version is actually sort of a sequel to the original story with Alice returning to Wonderland only to find it under the control of the Red Queen and evil is afoot and so forth and so on (which is the plot of the cult classic PC game Alice, but I don't think Burton knows that). So Burton and co. intend to deal with the inherent story issues by making Alice in Wonderland into an epic fantasy adventure, complete with Alice on the Joseph Campbell path.
I only wish they'd stop selling this thing solely on the shoulders of Johnny Depp. They've built an ensemble of amazing actors who have been completely ignored in every trailer just so Depp's Mad Hatter can say the same lines over and over again. Let Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman, Crispin Glover, Anne Hathaway, Michael Sheen, Christopher Lee and Helena Bonham Carter shine. And while they're at it, they should let Alice, you know, actually say something or do anything in the trailer. Because she plays Alice. In Alice in Wonderland. It's the actress' name, isn't it? You really can't sell a name like Mia Wasikowska.
Alice in Wonderland will bring the dark and the strange in 3D March 5, 2010.