Alice Through the Looking Glass: Directed by James Bobin

alice_through_the_looking_glass_posterThe cast and creators of Alice Through the Looking Glass discuss the sequel to the smash hit.

Johnny DeppMia Wasikowska and Anne Hathaway, along with director James Bobin and producer Suzanne Todd, attended the premiere at the El Capitan Theater to discuss how they brought Alice and the fantasy world to life this time around.

Alice Through the Looking Glass opens in theaters May 27.

“In the first film, Alice was quite uncomfortable in her skin and in this one she has a pretty strong sense of herself,” said Wasikowska.

Wasikowska, who reprises her role in the sequel, said “it was fun” playing a character that “no one could make question” about who she is.

The producers did not plan on making a sequel, but the success of the first film, which made over $1 billion worldwide, changed their minds.

alice_through_the_looking_glass_12_wasikowskaEven so, it took the producers “a long time to come up with an idea that we thought would be special and important.”

“We intentionally wanted the movie to be both funny and comedic in a way that the first movie wasn’t, but we also wanted some deeper emotional depths with the characters and the story lines,” said Todd, who also produced “Alice in Wonderland.”

“So we dove back into the literature and we liked this idea of focusing on the preciousness of time and there was this literary reference where Lewis Carroll had written about it so it made a lot of sense.”

“Alice Through the Looking Glass” takes viewers on a journey through time as Alice ventures to help the Mad Hatter (Depp) recover from the loss of his family. While keeping the fantasy alive, the movie touches on the importance of family, death and treasuring time.

James Bobin, who directed the Muppet films, took the helm from Tim Burton for the sequel. Bobin aimed for “Alice Through the Looking Glass” to have the comedic feel that his previous works had, but stay true to Carroll’s work.

alice_through_the_looking_glass_11_depp“The story had to feel like a Lewis Carrol-inspired story and therefore it had to have a certain complexity, but at the same time you don’t want to make the film too complex, so I regularly tested the story on my daughter,” said Bobin.

“When I was a kid I would read Lewis Carrol and he made me laugh. I wanted to bring a bit of that back into the world,” Bobin continued.

Despite negative reviews, word of mouth among the core fans is strong.  Early estimates indicate that the Disney sequel should open in the $60 million range.alice_through_the_looking_glass_10_bonham_carter

Alice Through the Looking Glass should be a solid performer at 3,750 sites for Disney, even without a first-place finish. The studio has dominated 2016 movie-going with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “The Jungle Book” and “Zootopia” so far.

In 2010, the original Alice in Wonderland opened to $116.1 million and went on to gross $334 million domestically and over $1 billion worldwide, but the sequel is more expensive, costing at least $170 million.