Here’s a look at today’s latest casting news:
Hit the jump for more on each project.
Release dates for a few promising upcoming films have been announced. Briefly:
- Disney’s sure-to-be CGI-filled sequel Alice in Wonderland 2 will be released on May 27, 2016.
- Disney has also set a release date for director Jon Favreau’s new adaptation of The Jungle Book, which joins the box office apocalypse of 2015 on October 9, 2015.
- The closest release date comes to us by way of director Ron Howard’s real-life drama Heart of the Sea, which has been dated by Warner Bros. for release on March 13, 2015.
Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned properties.
It’s no surprise that after the lackluster performance of Disney’s The Lone Ranger, star Johnny Depp is reported as being in final talks for a sequel to the studio’s highly lucrative Alice in Wonderland. Depp starred as the Mad Hatter in the original picture which grossed over a billion dollars worldwide. Director James Bobin (The Muppets) steps in for Tim Burton this time around. Deadline also reports that the sequel is part of a relatively new multi-year deal between Depp and Disney that will allow him to produce movies at the studio. Depp was in the news earlier this week when it was announced that he’d play the title role in Lionsgate’s Mortdecai. He hopes to fit that particular film in between his roles in the Disney productions Into the Woods and Pirates of the Caribbean 5.
Though he’s currently filming Disney’s The Muppets sequel, The Muppets … Again!, director James Bobin is reportedly in early talks for another Disney sequel: Alice in Wonderland 2. Tim Burton’s 2010 original 3D picture brought in over $1 billion at the box office, so it comes as little surprise that the studio is moving forward with another installment. Screenwriter Linda Woolverton returns to pen the script for the sequel, which is possibly tagged Into the Looking Glass. Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd will also return as producers. Variety also reports that the original Alice in Wonderland is on its way to becoming a musical through Disney Theatrical Productions, based on another script by Woolverton.
From director Sam Raimi, Oz the Great and Powerful imagines the origins of the wizard that was first brought to life in author L. Frank Baum’s book The Wizard of Oz, in a fantastical adventure that utilizes 3D to enhance what is truly an awe-inspiring movie-going experience. When small-time circus magician Oscar Diggs (James Franco) is unexpectedly carried from Kansas to the vibrantly beautiful Land of Oz in a tornado, he soon meets three witches – Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams) – who are unsure about whether he truly is the great wizard that they’ve been expecting. In one of the biggest tales of fake it ‘til you make it, Oscar must use his magical skill and a little ingenuity to help good triumph over evil.
At the film’s press day, Collider got the opportunity to speak with producer Joe Roth during both the press conference and a 1-on-1 interview about how this project came about, his prior experience with the original The Wizard of Oz film, how involved he was in shaping which Baum tales they would blend together to tell this origin story, how important it was to center the film around a flawed hero, why Sam Raimi was the right director, assembling this talented cast, and the most challenging aspects of such a big production. He also talked about the high-risk and high-reward involved in taking on such iconic characters (he’s done it with Oz, Alice in Wonderland and Snow White), their spin on the Sleeping Beauty story for Maleficent and how crucial the casting of Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning was, how they’re approaching the Alice in Wonderland sequel, and that he hopes to go into production on a very low-budget movie based on the book Heaven is for Real in the summer. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Park Chan-Wook’s (Old Boy) American debut Stoker, an odd little film if ever there was one, has the Asian auteur taking on Hitchcock. Ostensibly a remake/reimagining/updating of Hitch’s own Shadow of a Doubt, Stoker centers on a young pubescent girl, whose father has recently died under ‘mysterious’ circumstances. Enter an equally ‘mysterious’ long lost uncle (Mathew Goode), a series of murders, a distant never-present mother (Nicole Kidman) – and Park has all the ingredients he needs to make a pretty damn efficient thriller/melodrama. Ol’ Hitch would be proud.
Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) is the standout here. As India, the fatherless young woman who comes to suspect her ‘Uncle Charlie’ is a murderer, Wasikowska deftly uses her delicate features as a counterbalance to her character’s darker and more perverse proclivities — for the film is less a mystery about who Uncle Charlie is and more so who India really is. In the following interview with Wasikowska, she discusses working with Park Chan Wook, India’s ‘self-discovery’, a potential sequel to Alice in Wonderland and her upcoming vampire Jim Jarmusch film Only Lovers Left Alive. For the full interview, hit the jump.
When a movie grosses over a billion dollars in the worldwide box office, like Disney’s Alice in Wonderland back in 2010, you can pretty much guarantee a sequel is on the way. That seems to be the case for Alice, because screenwriter Linda Woolverton is reportedly penning the sequel. Woolverton wrote the original Tim Burton picture, which starred Mia Wasikowska in the title role and Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. Her latest effort, Maleficent, is currently in post-production. Variety reports that she also wrote the script for a stage play and musical adaptation of the 2010 Alice in Wonderland, which is to be directed by Rob Ashford. The sequel’s details are obviously being kept under wraps, but keep an eye on this one for future developments. Hit the jump to see the trailer and poster from the original film.
One of the films that got rave reviews at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was director Lisa Cholodenko’s (High Art, Laurel Canyon) The Kids Are All Right. The film is about two teenage children Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) and Josh Hutcherson (Journey to the Center of the Earth, Red Dawn) that decide to track down their donor father (Mark Ruffalo) as they were both conceived artificially by their two mothers (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore). Once they locate him, their household will never be the same. Like I said yesterday when I posted my interview with director Lisa Cholodenko, I loved this movie and I think it’s going to be remembered at the end of the year during Award season.
Anyway, I recently got to speak with Mia Wasikowska and we talked about how she got involved in the project, what it was like to work with such a great cast, what the past year has been like for her, and I also got updates on Gus Van Sant’s Restless, Jane Eyre, and has she heard anything about a sequel to Alice in Wonderland. Hit the jump to see what she had to say: