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rhys ifansIn the universe established by Tim Burton's 2010 "Alice in Wonderland" (based, in part, on both Lewis Carroll's original novel and the 1951 Disney animated classic), up is down, black is white, and everything's kooky and topsy-turvy. So it sort of makes sense that, as the Wrap is reporting, Rhys Ifans, who is four years younger than "Alice in Wonderland" star Johnny Depp, has been tapped to play Depp's father in the sequel.

The Wrap report calls the movie "Alice in Wonderland 2," although for a while it had been identified as "Through the Looking Glass" (in keeping with the original Carroll texts). Who knows what it's actually called, but that should probably be sorted out before its May 27th, 2016 release date. Ifans joins original stars Depp, Mia Wasikowska (as Alice), and Helena Bonham Carter (as the Red Queen), in the Linda Woolverton-penned sequel. James Bobin, who directed the two recent "Muppets" movies, will be taking over from Burton. Sacha Baron Cohen, who co-starred with Bonham Carter in both "Les Miserables" and Burton's "Sweeney Todd," is another new cast member to the franchise.

According to The Wrap, Ifans will play Zanik Hightopp, the Mad Hatter's father, "who cannot hide his bright-colored hair beneath a top hat." The site also rightfully assumes that both actors will be so covered in make-up and other prosthetics that their respective ages don't matter all that much. Ifans recently starred as the Lizard in "Amazing Spider-Man," and it's been thought that he could be one of the actors to return in Sony's all-villain "Sinister Six" spin-off movie.

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