Tim Burton Speaks About His Goals for Alice in Wonderland

October 15, 2008
Source: Hero Complex

Tim Burton

Ever since it was announced last November that Tim Burton was directing Alice in Wonderland, the filmmaker has never actually spoken publicly about his work on the film. Now that he's already officially in production on it, Burton has finally started talking about it, and Geoff Boucher of the Hero Complex was one of the first to speak with him. The lengthy in-depth interview, that I thoroughly enjoyed reading, eventually hones in on Alice in Wonderland after covering a wide range of topics, from Beetlejuice to Johnny Depp to Dark Shadows. And to jump right into it, let's kick this update off with Burton's goal for re-envisioning Alice in Wonderland: "just to try to give it a gravity that most film versions haven't had."

Burton's discussion on the story, as seen below, actually makes a lot of sense. My own reference for Alice in Wonderland comes only from Disney's 1951 film. While Burton is going all the way back to Lewis Carroll's 1865 classic story, my knowledge is only limited to the cheerful, and still twisted, version that Disney told. However, hearing Burton's explanation actually really puts it all into perspective.

"It's a funny project. The story is obviously a classic with iconic images and ideas and thoughts. But with all the movie versions, well, I've just never seen one that really had any impact to me. It's always just a series of weird events. Every character is strange and she's just kind of wandering through all of the encounters as just a sort of observer. The goal is to try to make it an engaging movie where you get some of the psychology and kind of bring a freshness but also keep the classic nature of 'Alice.' And, you know, getting to do it in 3-D fits the material quite well. So I'm excited about making it a new version - but also have the elements that people expect when they think of the material."

Knowing Burton's past work, this means we're going to get a darker, deeper, and much more twisted movie than we've ever seen before. I really didn't like Burton's re-imagining of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and I'm a bit worried that Alice in Wonderland might head in that direction as well. But for now, I think this explanation makes me feel a bit more confident in him and I enjoyed the first few set photos with lead actress Mia Wasikowska. For some odd reason I'm strangely excited for this movie, only because I feel like Burton is the perfect guy to do it. Obviously this is the very first of many talks with him that we'll see over the next few years until Alice in Wonderland hits theaters sometime in 2010.

Find more posts: Discuss, Hype, Movie News



I'm excited for what will sure to be another great film to watch while on LSD.

Evan on Oct 15, 2008


Looking forward to this one. Tim always delivers!!!

Matt on Oct 15, 2008


SO damn excited for this!

Marty Martin - IMAGEN Films on Oct 15, 2008


Tim Burton + Alice In Wonderland = Definitely Amazing! I am so excited for this! Burton always has an amazingly fresh eye for everything and I just know that this movie will be unlike any other Alice we've seen in our lifetime!

Hyacinth on Oct 15, 2008


I wish he would have chosen to direct The Looking Glass Wars instead.

Jace on Oct 16, 2008


Hey thanks for posting, it's really interesting!

Mbuuckingham on Oct 16, 2008


Tim bears the balck mark ever since PLANET OF THE APES. Burton helmed some of my favorite movies, but the mans lost his stride despite a glimmer of hope seen in Sweeney Todd. I find it difficult to muster enthusiasm for this movie.

Voice Of Reason on Oct 16, 2008


Burton's a great director but he hasn't had a lot of success adapting classic stories in my opinion. Planet of the Apes was a disaster and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was extremely average. Maybe he can pull it off with this, but his track record with Apes and Charlie aren't giving me a lot of confidence.

Colca on Oct 16, 2008


I feel your fear for the 'Wonka' effec this movie might have - although I know its going to be one of the trippiest things I ever see in a movie theatre.

Nick Sears on Oct 16, 2008


I was really excited about this film till I read he was doing it in 3-D. I don't mind 3-D movies as long as there in theme parks and IMAX Theaters only. But I find it hard to just enjoy them at home. But I'm still excited to see his adaption.

The_Phantom on Oct 16, 2008


I have never had a chance to see any movie in 3d so im excited.

dac_fan on Oct 16, 2008


2010 please come soon!

HFC on Oct 17, 2008


the interviewer seems unaware of the novels that are written for what he calls ( re- imaged films) a director of a film will no doubt have to make an (imagined version) of what is depicted in the book - any director can make the choice to do a (re-make )of a book even if the film version was a big hit in another decade - Alice in wonderland has been rendered as film several times - Burton will no doubt create something that has not been done before - I find the interviewer to be uninformed and not aware of how many films of Alice have been made , leaving me with the impression that Burton must have wondered how such a novice could have been assigned to interview him - oh well thats what makes the media such a mixed bag.

scott on Nov 8, 2008


Since the Looking Glass is a sequel to Wonderland, Tim Burton may direct Looking Glass some time in the future. The current situation is that Wonderland is set to be released the same time as Thor, Shrek 4, Green Lantern, Iron Man 2, Toy Story 3 and an updated big screen adaptation of a cult t.v series known as The A-Team. As a result Wonderland will probaby crash and burn big time.

Homer on Feb 28, 2009


As far as animation is concerned Tim Burton better leave that to Fox. In Britain there was a poll about top animation from the public's point of view, and the likes of The Simpsons and Family Guy beat out Nightmare Before Christmas. Here were each of the studio's canons: Pixar: Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Monsters Inc. Finding Nemo and The Incredibles. Disney: Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Lady and the Tramp, The Jungle Book, Fantasia, The Lion King, Aladdin, Bambi and Dumbo. Fox: The Simpsons, Family Guy, King of the Hill and Futurama. Aardman: Chicken Run, Creature Comforts and Wallace and Gromit. Warner Bros.: The Iron Giant, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Pepe le Pew, Foghorn Legorn, Road Runner, Sylvester and Tweety Pie. Dreamworks: Shrek. Studio Gibli: Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. Hanna Barbera: Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, Scooby Doo, Captain Caveman, Hong Kong Phoey, Top Cat, Yogi Bear and Wacky Races. Nickolodeon: Spongebob Squarepants, Ren and Stimpy. MTV: Beavis and Butthead. Cartoon Network: Powerpuff Girls and Samurai Jack Max Feisher: Betty Boop and Popeye

Zapp Brinnigan on Apr 9, 2009

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