ABOUT TIME

ALICE IS BACK — AND FOR­WARD — IN THE LOOK­ING GLASS

Empire (UK) - - PREMIERE -

T’S BEEN SIX years since Tim Bur­ton’s Alice In Won­der­land be­came a bil­lion dol­largross­ing sen­sa­tion. Sur­pris­ingly, in this era of in­stant se­quels, it’s taken that long for Dis­ney to press the but­ton on a fol­low-up — but it’s fi­nally here in the shape of Alice Through The Look­ing Glass, in­spired by, rather than slav­ishly based on, the Lewis Car­roll book of the same name.

“The book is fan­tas­tic in its own right,” says James Bobin, the Bri­tish di­rec­tor ( The Mup­pets, Flight Of The Con­chords) who’s call­ing the shots now the pre­vi­ous in­cum­bent has gone for a Bur­ton. “But it’s largely based around the game of chess. And Alice meets var­i­ous peo­ple, none of whom have cause and ef­fect, and there­fore it doesn’t make a great nar­ra­tive for a film.”

Bobin’s so­lu­tion: re­place a Tim with a Time, in the shape of Sacha Baron Co­hen. “Time has this great sense of self-im­por­tance,” says Bobin of the movie’s new vil­lain. “Sacha is very good at the comedic trope of the con­fi­dent id­iot.” Co­hen’s Time drives the plot of this brain-bend­ing pre­se­quel, as Alice (Mia Wasikowska) ven­tures into Un­der­land, a place where “time is a ge­o­graph­i­cal con­struct,” says Bobin. “You have to lit­er­ally move through time, back­wards and for­wards, to find the place you need to go.”

The rea­son for Alice’s quest? To save the fam­ily of Johnny Depp’s Mad Hat­ter. “Johnny pushed the char­ac­ter emo­tion­ally,” says Bobin. Did he have to wear a Tim Bur­ton mask in or­der to di­rect Depp, we won­der. “We all had black suits and I had Robert Smith hair,” he laughs. “No, I was just me — a Bri­tish man in a suit.” Won­der­ful. CHRIS HEWITT

ALICE THROUGH THE LOOK­ING GLASS IS OUT

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.