I’ve been sent some tip-offs casting for Tim Burton‘s Alice in Wonderland, and I checked some of it with Peter and found out he’s heard tiny whispers himself. My source is really pretty solid, so I’m going to go out on a limb here. Remember – I’m buying into this 99%, but you don’t have to. Take it as a rumour for now.
So, the key role here is that of The Cheshire Cat. Early reports had Michael Sheen pegged as taking that part, but he’s since denied this in a good handful of interviews (I think it was his turn as Tony Blair that made the casting seem obvious). What I’ve been told now discusses not only the part that will be taken by Sheen, but which other actor actually did get the part of the Cheshire Cat. Well, allegedly.
According to this rumor, then, Sheen will be playing the White Rabbit. Brilliant. I can see it now. I asked, but my source couldn’t tell me if Sheen played an anthropomorphic take on the role in mo-cap or if we’ll have a very rabbity-rabbit instead. I suspect we’re going to see a rabbity-rabbit, as required by the “real world” sequences that book-end the film. In my imagination – and possibly, only there – he simply becomes bipedal once vanishing down the hole, perhaps slipping on a waistcoat.
Oh.. and where is this White Rabbit going? Well, it is Wonderland, but my source says it is also called Underland. Both names are in the script. I don’t know what any of that means… do you? Is Wonderland in a bad way, for some reason, and become a sort of messed-up version of what we’d expect? Does Alice have to revitalize it somehow, and bring back the Wonder? I wish somebody could tell me.
So, back to the casting. If Sheen’s a bunny, who will be playing the Cheshire Cat? I’ve been told with full confidence that it’s Stephen Fry. Right now, thousands of my countrymen are rejoicing (and I’m sure a bunch are grunting some Anglo Saxon profanities too). This seems like perfect casting to me, though I’m slightly disturbed by the images of a 50% feline, 50% Fry monstrosity that have bubbled up in my imagination since receiving the tip off. Burton’s vision of the cat, according to my source, is green and yellow and rather cuddly looking. That’s much better than my scrawny, hellish nightmare.
Now… Noah Taylor apparently has a role also, though I have not been told which one. To my eye he looks, sounds, and oftentimes acts not unlike The March Hare – but that would be just a blind guess on my part and, curiously, my source tells me that the March Hare isn’t mo-cap at all but full CG animation. Perhaps Taylor is just the voice, or perhaps he’s playing an entirely different role – only time will tell.
Nothing official then, and it should all chalked up as rumour for the time being, but I’m putting on my bets while the odds are so good.