With the release of the anticipated Disney sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass only a few days away across both sides of the Atlantic, Flickering Myth’s Scott J. Davis got the chance to sit down with the film’s director James Bobin (The Muppets, Flight of the Conchords) to discuss the making of the sequel.
The first film, released in 2010, was the first big Disney live-action remake of one of their animated classics as well as being one of the earliest “new” 3D spectacular’s and earned over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. Pressure for sure on Bobin’s shoulders to replicate the success of the first having replaced Tim Burton in the director’s chair. But Bobin knew he could handle any such pressures thanks to his early love of all things Alice:
“I grew up in England and read Alice and I knew the world of that character and I love Lewis Caroll, he used to make me laugh a lot as a kid because he’s such a clever wordsmith and I was very keen to try to bring elements of that back because of my background in filmmaking as a comedy guy.”
One of the new characters introduced in the film is that of Time, a physical representation of time itself which Alice (Mia Wasikowska) has to fend off in order to save The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp). Sacha Baron Cohen (Les Miserables) portrays the character and after working with Cohen very early in his career on The Ali G Show, Bobin could think of nobody else to play the role, saying:
“We worked together many years ago creating characters like that on Ali G, Borat and Bruno so I knew he would be good at this and I knew I wanted someone who was going to have the capability of filling this quite large space in the movie.”
Up next for Bobin is the much-publicised Sony crossover film MIB23, which sees Men In Black and 21/22 Jump Street join forces for a unique cinematic experience. It’s still very early stages for the film but Bobin thinks that the project will surprise many when its release in the next few years, with Jump Street alum Johan Hill and Channing Tatum set to return:
“What’s funny about it is that on a structural sense the films are too dissimilar as they are both police procedurals, tonally they are different… But when you read the script about what it’s going to be it’s very exciting. I can’t say much more than that as it’s so early.”
You can view the interview in full in the player below…
Alice Through the Looking Glass is released on May 27th.