Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska confirmed for Alice in Wonderland 2, Disney sets Memorial Day 2016 release

Disney is banking on Johnny Depp to elevate another sequel. But, instead of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN it will be ALICE IN WONDERLAND 2. The 2010 Tim Burton film has a worldwide gross of over a billion dollars and remains the 28th highest grossing domestic film of all time. While Burton will not be back for the sequel, Depp and Mia Wasikowska will reprise their roles as The Mad Hatter and Alice. Disney set the release date as May 27, 2016.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES is also tentatively set for a Summer 2016 release which would make for another big year for Disney after the upcoming STAR WARS and Marvel heavy 2015. After THE LONE RANGER came in well below projections and expectations, it is no doubt that Disney is going to be a little cautious about the sequel. ALICE IN WONDERLAND got a huge boost in box office due to being the first 3D movie after AVATAR debuted in 2009 but with audiences growing weary of the format, the sequel may not be quite as big.

Disney is keeping directing in house as James Bobin will take over from Burton. Bobin has directed two features, THE MUPPETS and THE MUPPETS MOST WANTED, both for Disney. Can he handle the FX heavy sequel? I would venture to say yes, but is anyone really excited to see this movie? The first one felt incredibly slow and not very unique. It felt like Burton was doing it just for the paycheck.

The biggest problem may have been taking the focus away from Alice and putting Johnny Depp front and center despite his character being a secondary one. They might as well have called it HATTER or MAD IN WONDERLAND. I appreciate how much money Depp commands for his roles, but don't supplant the story in favor of celebrity.

Hopefully ALICE IN WONDERLAND 2 will at least feel consistent even without Burton in the driver's seat, but I do hope they try and do something to set it apart from the pack.



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