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Is Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter Too Good to Be True?

hatter.jpgIt sounds too good to be true, at least at this moment in time. Multiple reports say Johnny Depp will play The Mad Hatter in Tim Burton's upcoming Alice in Wonderland. That is, naturally, perfect casting, and Burton and Depp have a tremendous history together. But doesn't it almost sound, I dunno, too perfect?

We learned late last week that Australian actress Mia Wasikowska will play Alice, and at the time I said it was smart to cast a relative unknown for the title role and leave the showy characters in the story to the showy actors. Very few thespians chew more scenery than Depp, especially when Burton is pulling the strings. I mean that in the most complimentary way, for the record. And I have absolutely no problem with the casting, but I guess because it feels like a knee-jerk reaction to pair them together, especially with this role, I don't want to believe it 100%.

Near as I can tell, this unconfirmed casting comes to us from British tabloid The Sun. You'll find it on their webpage next to upskirt shots of Katie Price and the latest nightclub rumors about Bob Geldof's daughter, whom they all call "The Boomtown Brat," a reference to her dad's old band.

According to "a source," Burton "held out on doing Alice until he got a big enough budget. Now this film is financed by Disney so money won’t be a problem.” Of course, it doesn't take much of a source to inform you that Disney has lots of money, so it's hard to really gauge the veracity of this story, even though Depp is a perfect candidate.

There were a few rumors about casting Alice, as well, and then Burton took that role in a completely different direction. So while this news makes sense, I wouldn't be surprised to learn it's just wishful thinking and Burton ultimately casts the late Paul Lynde or something. Incidentally, Paul Lynde would be restaurant quality in that role, too.

Reader Comments (7)

Note to studio executives:

"Do not ever, whatever the circumstances, never let Tim Burton film Alice in Wonderland with or without Johnny Depp."

It odd what people regard as genius. To me, Tim Burton is just like a strange child who never grows up.

But I guess that appeals to other strange children who never grow up.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHenry Oak


"Do not ever, whatever the circumstances, never let Tim Burton film Alice in Wonderland with or without Johnny Depp."

So...they want him to? Basically your quote says that they should not ever, not let him... Quite a child-like statement from someone so grown up.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEmo

Putting grammar aside (I put never there on purpose) I just think that Tim Burton has been making filmic references to Alice in Wonderland for most of his career. And they haven't been very good. Just farcical films that fail to be funny and just turn out gloomy. And I'm not man enough to hear Johnny Depp doing another English accent.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHenry Oak

I really wish men would get off the Johnny Depp thing. I have heard so much criticism including that he is gay. Strangely, the majority of the badmouthing comes from men... So figure it out. It is obvious,guys.
Johnny Depp is a talented,versatile actor. He is also an intelligent,well read
human being. He is gentle ,humble and his fans will tell you,he is always happy to stop and chat or sign an autograph. And as far as the whole"anti American thing" he has stated over and over that he stays in France since the birth of his children mainly because the French have strict laws prohibiting photographing of children...He wishes to keep his family private which is more than I can say for all these A-list actors who sell pictures of their newborns,for goodness sake. Get over it! Envy is a deadly sin..........

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

Henry Oak your opinion on Burton's films and Johnny Depp as an actor aren't what bother me. Of course you're entitled to them. I'm sure there are people who agree with you, and people who don't. I just feel it's a unfair to categorize everyone who does like them as "a strange child who's never grown up". That's a passive-aggressive insult. It may be your's still an insult non-the-less. Talk about why you don't like the movies, Burton and Depp all you want. But you don't have to insult those who do like them.

To say "I don't think Burton's films are very good"...that's fine. But to say "I don't think Burton's films are very good, and everyone who does like them is a strange child that never grew up"....well that just kind of sucks.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEmo

Barbara, I actually do like Johnny Depp. I even thought he was a good actor early on when most people slated him as a pretty boy. I do have a problem with his English accents, though. Speech is such a big part of a persona and what actors do. If it doesn't sit naturally, it affects the credibility of the role.

Besides, I really don't like the silly caricatures that Burton makes Depp do in his films.

I have disliked every film by Burton since Beetle Juice. I don't find any content in them, just a jumble of superficial references to other material. Each time a Burton film comes out I read reve reviews and each time I find the same empty shell.

Obviously, there's something not quite right here, which needs to be brought to light.

Thursday, July 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHenry Oak

I remembered one thing. I saw Planet of the Apes on DVD during a period when I was completely off cinema so I hadn't realised that it was a Burton movie. During the first few minutes, I thought it was pretty promising but as soon as he ran into the apes it just got worse and worse and I hated it more for each clumsy, ugly, heavy-handed scene. So it made great sense when I realised it was a Burton film and could stop being angry about it. From him I expect rubbish.

Thursday, July 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHenry Oak

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