If ever there was a perfect piece of casting and the perfect choice of director it’s this

Johnny Depp has been cast as the Mad Hatter for Tim Burton’s remake of Lewis Carroll’s hallucinogenic Alice in Wonderland.


Leah says:

I can’t wait for the movie. I love Tim Burton. I did *not* like several of the costumes. I was expecting the Queen of Hearts to look significantly darker and more evil, and Helena Bonham-Carter looks TERRIFIC in that type of costume… but no. She looks like a clown with an over-blown head.

Not a fan of the Hatter’s costume either. He’s supposed to be mad, yes. NOT AN ALIEN.

Then again, perhaps Tim Burton just has a thing with painting Johnny Depp’s face white.

I’ll do a Nathan and disagree. I’m sooooo sick of every Burton movie having JD and Helena BC that as soon as I saw some pics for this I rolled my eyes. Ho hum. Tim Burton’s movies look great, but he should be a designer, not a director.

Nathan says:

See, I’m excited because:
a) I like Tim Burton
b) I like Johnny Depp playing the deranged slightly camp character (eg Willy Wonka)
c) Alice in Wonderland is one of my all time favourite books. So I’m looking forward to seeing it on film, again.

Johnny Depp playing the deranged slightly camp character eg EVERY movie he ever does.

Nathan says:

Every movie except Donnie Brasko… and some others. But most importantly Donnie Brasko.

gosh, how dare i put him in a box when he played a different kind of character in one movie out of the last seven million.

snideness aside, don’t get me wrong, I like him. But he doesn’t stray very far, you gotta admit. The camp/deranged Johhny Depp character is almost as cliche as the Morgan Freeman voiceover.

Nathan says:

Quite. But according to IMDB he hasn’t done a penguin movie yet – which is surely the big screen equivalent of jumping the shark. He’s also been the lead in a bunch of romances I’ve never watched… and I can’t remember him in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape – but I assume he was brooding and intense.

It’s not fair to argue on the basis of his last seven million when such a high percentage of his work is now playing the same (as in the exact same) character… pre-pirates he was a much more diverse chap.

penguin or no penguin, in your heart of hearts you know i’m right.

As for Burton, his movies promise a lot and I get very excited, then about 20 mins in to each movie he doesn’t know what to do with it, and he innevitably turns it into a pile of bog. If he realised he was a good ideas man but a pooh director, then things like Sleepy Hollow and Charlie and the C.F. would have actually been good.

I mean, come on, how can you ruin a movie where Christopher Walken plays the Headless Horseman? That has awesomeness written all over it. Still he managed to make it a joke.

And maybe if you cast a few other people other than your wife and your mate your movies may not all be THE SAME.

Nathan says:

“As for Burton, his movies promise a lot and I get very excited, then about 20 mins in to each movie he doesn’t know what to do with it, and he innevitably turns it into a pile of bog.”

Do you reckon that’s what happened with Mars Attacks.

I think Tim Burton is a big practical joke on the Hollywood establishment. So I think it’s funny that his movies have that formulaic derailing. Mars Attacks! was just the first time he openly admitted the joke…

you reckon? I would say it’s more a case of ‘yikes i do suck a fair bit.. maybe i should pretend that i suck on purpose’.

The joke’s on him, because he’ll be remembered as mediocre in the long run.

It’s about knowing what yr good at. His production design kicks ass. I love the look of Sleepy Hollow. I love Catwomans sewn together suit in Batman 2. And scissors for hands.

Get off your ‘i’m in charge of every bit of my movies’ trip, stick to design and get a decent director, and your movies would be AWESOME.

Leah says:

What is wrong with an actor doing similar roles if he’s good at it? Who cares? He does it well, people enjoy it, that’s all that matters!

Tim Burton makes weird movies. That’s a fact. And like I said in one of Nathan’s other posts, Burton’s movies are not everyone’s favourite flavour of ‘different’. Not just their design, but their storylines and how they’re put together. He’s odd. Not bad, just very, very different. Besides, I’ve heard Sweeney Todd and Corpse Bride were pretty fantastic, but I haven’t seen them.

I also think it’s good when a tried and tested combination of actors/directors continue to work together. Baz Luhrmann often uses a lot of the same crew and sometimes the same actors. And now, is it REALLY any surprise Tim Burton might favour Helena BC??

Andrew says:

The Burton Batman films are the best of the bunch.. and possibly his best work, in my opinion. Willy Wonka was ok, but I love the old one. Sweeny Todd was a bit rubbish. It’s a gothic enough piece without needing a gothic director, and Johnny Depp simply cannot sing, he was great when he wasn’t trying to sing. The stage version I saw by Opera Australia with the fantastic Peter Coleman-Wright was much better – it needs someone who can sing and act.
Baz Luhrmann does also have a distinctive style, but I think engages with the text on a much deeper level.

one final thought from me, I was thinking about what you said Nathan and Leah, that you like the ride of a Burton movie, and accept the meandering plot as part of the package, and still enjoy it, and that in some sense that is just part of the style of it all– good to look at, but with a strange, kind of unpolished plot.

I think this is a good point, and I can apply it to other things that I like. So for this reason, I’ll withdraw some of my venom about Tim Burton and accept that people can like something, warts and all, and that the warts even become a fun part of the package for them. Sorry if I came across as arrogant.

Nathan says:

Arrogance and hyperbole come with the territory. I thoroughly enjoyed this discussion.