Saturday, September 27, 2008

Couple More Set Photos

A couple more Alice in Wonderland set photos are online: one of Mia Wasikowska, and a second of Billy Ray Burton, also in period garb.

"Alice in Wonderland" Set Photos!

INF Daily has posted some excellent set photos of the shoot in Cornwall, England.

Mia Wasikowska (playing Alice) and Tim Burton are prominent. Helena Bonham Carter is also on the set with baby Nell. Nell looks like she's in period costume, too... might she make a cameo appearance as an extra like first-born Billy Ray in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

Click on the following images for larger versions!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

OFFICIAL: Depp in "Wonderland"

After months of speculation, it has been made official: Johnny Depp will play the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland.

Dick Cook, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios, has confirmed this on Wednesday.

In addition to Alice, Depp will also be in two other upcoming Disney films: he will return as Captain Jack Sparrow in the fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and as the Lone Ranger's sidekick, Tonto, in a new cinematic adaption of the western serial (Depp is part Cherokee in addition to his German and Irish ancestry).

It has also been declared that Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Ken Ralston (who won awards for Robert Zemeckis' films Forrest Gump and Who Framed Roger Rabbit) is on set in London as the senior visual effects supervisor, working with Sony Pictures Imageworks on the animation. David Schaub is the animation supervisor and Sean Phillips and Carey Villegas are visual effects supervisors for Imageworks.

But after all of this talk about Alice in Wonderland, some of us are still wondering about Tim Burton's other film in his two-flick agreement with Walt Disney Studios: a feature-length, stop-motion animated version of Frankenweenie.

The fact is, no big recent news has come up, but it is still in the works (Burton confirmed this on the new DVD release of The Nightmare Before Christmas). Production will commence on the stop-motion adaptation as soon as shooting for Alice is completed (right now, pre-production is going underway). Both Frankenweenie and Alice in Wonderland will be released in theaters presented in Disney Digital 3-D (as will many of the studio's other future projects).

No word on whether Depp will provide his voice for Frankenweenie yet, though.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Jack Takes Back the Haunted Mansion

Disneyland's Haunted Mansion ride has completed its annual transformation into a Nightmare Before Christmas inspired theme.

Since 2001, the classic ride has undergone this festive makeover of the twisted medley of Halloween and Christmas. But each year, a few new treats (and tricks, of course) appear.

The official re-opening will take place on Friday, September 26th, 2008, with Halloween festivities taking place at the Anaheim theme park.

And Helena Bonham Carter?...

We all know that Johnny Depp is a frequent Tim Burton collaborator, and word of mouth indicates that he will be in Alice in Wonderland.

But what about Helena Bonham Carter, Burton's equally abundant actress and the mother of his two children? Perhaps it's a given, but some intriguing information has come up.

Jonathan Lynn, director of the forthcoming film Wild Target, stated that Helena Bonham Carter will not be in his next film, as the shooting schedule clashed with Alice in Wonderland.

So Bonham Carter will most likely be in Alice. Now the question is: Who will she play?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Eleanor Tomlinson to be in "Alice"

Sixteen-year-old actress Eleanor Tomlinson has stated that she will play the role of the spiteful Fiona Chataway in Alice in Wonderland.

Tomlinson, a Beverly native, has recently appeared in the teen comedy Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.

The young actress commented on how enjoyable it has been to work on the film:

"I think it's amazing. I can't get over it.

"Everyone has been so nice to me on set.

"It's a small part, but it's well worth it. It's brilliant."

She began filming her scenes last week in Plymouth, and will continue to do so for the next three weeks. After that, she's returning back to school.

The article also focused on Tomlinson talking about Johnny Depp, who is supposed to play the role of the Mad Hatter in the computer-generated realm of Wonderland.

"Unfortunately, Johnny Depp is filming the animation scenes in the US so I won't meet him on set.

"But, hopefully, I'll get the chance during the premier.

"I'll be thrilled when I meet him, but also probably a little star-struck.

"I just have to act normal. Everyone says he is a really lovely guy."

Matt Lucas, who will play the roles of Tweedledee and Tweedledum, very recently also said that Depp would be in Los Angeles for his scenes. So unless both he and Tomlinson are misled, Depp will most likely be in the film (although it's not clear whether all of Wonderland will be computer animated with the motion-capture technology or just certain elements or characters in it).

Matt Lucas Confirms Role

British comedic actor Matt Lucas has confirmed that he will be playing the roles of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum in Alice in Wonderland, and he is "very excited."

"I go out in early October to Los Angeles to film," he said.

"I think a lot of the work is going to be green screen but I've seen some set designs and what the characters are going to look like and they look absolutely extraordinary.

"I pinch myself when I think I'm going to be playing a part in a Disney movie directed by Tim Burton starring Johnny Depp - I can't quite believe it's going to be happening."

Technically, Depp has not been confirmed yet (rumors suggest that he will play the Mad Hatter). But Lucas' enthusiasm is indeed infectious.

You can read more about Lucas' forthcoming projects in this BBC article.

More info to come!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Alice" Begins Filming

A few of the local extras on the set of
Alice in Wonderland
in period attire.

Filming for Alice in Wonderland has reportedly commenced in Torpoint, specifically at the famous Antony House.

Production is reportedly already immense: Between 600 and 700 people, ranging from actors, extras, cameramen and production staff, are said to be operating at the site. Hundreds of cars park in a field converted to a make-shift car park. Adjacent to them are large trailers presumably used for wardrobe fittings and catering and hospitality. Countless taxis and catering companies are present at the site, and all the actors and production staff involved are presumably staying and dining locally.

Over the next few weeks 250 extras, most of which are from Plymouth and its general area, will attend shoots, dressed in Victorian-era clothing.

And what of Mr. Johnny Depp, who rumor-hungry fans online have been clamoring about playing the Mad Hatter? A spokeswoman for the production has said that the actor won’t be filming at Antony, in Plymouth, or indeed anywhere in the UK. She added that Disney had not even confirmed he would be appearing in the film at all.

We will have to wait and see who is in the film officially from a Disney press release. But for now, the meager scraps of information on Depp's supposed presence point to the contrary.

The Herald has a photo slide show of some of the extras for the film in this link, as well as a video.

We'll keep you posted on further filming updates!

New "Beetlejuice" DVD Available

has returned on DVD and Blu-Ray to commemorate the film's 20th anniversary. Special features (which are far too sparse, unfortunately) include the music-only track featuring every note of Danny Elfman's score and three episodes of the animated TV series based on the comedic feature film.

Friday, September 12, 2008

"Nightmare Revisited" CD Samples and Artwork

Artwork and audio samples for the upcoming "Nightmare Revisited" CD are on Disney Music. The songs and score from the soundtrack of The Nightmare Before Christmas are covered by a plethora of artists in a variety of genres, including punk, alternative rock, electronica, orchestral, and even a flamenco dance version of "Oogie Boogie's Song," to name a few of the many styles. Danny Elfman also narrates the Opening and Closing segments over his original score.

Here's the link to listen to the clips, and the track list:

1. Overture - DeVotchka
2. Opening - Danny Elfman
3. This Is Halloween - Marilyn Manson
4. Jack's Lament - The All-American Rejects
5. Doctor Finkelstein/In the Forest - Amiina
6. What's This? - Flyleaf
7. Town Meeting Song - Polyphonic Spree
8. Jack and Sally Montage - The Vitamin String Quartet
9. Jack's Obsession - Sparklehorse
10. Kidnap the Sandy Claws - Korn
11. Making Christmas - Rise Against
12. Nabbed - Yoshida Brothers
13. Oogie Boogie's Song - Rodrigo y Gabriela
14. Sally's Song - Amy Lee
15. Christmas Eve Montage - RJD2
16. Poor Jack - Plain White T's
17. To the Rescue - Datarock
18. Finale/Reprise - Shiny Toy Guns
19. Closing - Danny Elfman
20. End Title - The Album Leaf

"Nightmare Revisited" will be available to purchase on September 30th, 2008. You can pre-order it on

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Matt Lucas in "Wonderland"?

Variety has stated that British comic actor Matt Lucas will be playing the twins Tweedledee and Tweedledum in Alice in Wonderland, much like Deep Roy playing all of the Oompa Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Lucas is best known for being in BBC's "Little Britain," and the coming HBO series "Little Britain USA," premiering on September 28th.

No other sources or details were provided to confirm this, so it's not official yet. But he certainly looks the part.

Francesca Jaynes: Choreographer for "Alice in Wonderland"

In an interview discussing her past, current, and future works, choreographer Francesca Jaynes revealed that she will be working on Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. In the lengthy interview, Jaynes talked about her collaborations with Tim Burton -- starting with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and then Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street -- how she communicates with him, and what she sees as his vision for the film and how she executes it.

Jaynes begins with discussing the challenge of choreographing Deep Roy -- one man who had to interact with hundreds of Oompa Loompa versions of himself -- in Charlie:

"The filming of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was so complicated that some days we were really pleased just to get a couple of seconds of finished footage in the can - thankfully not all the film was that slow."

She then went on to compare working with director Mike Leigh (on the Gilbert and Sullivan story Topsy Turvy) and Tim Burton:

"The differences between Mike and Tim are huge. With Mike you can talk and talk and talk about a subject but Tim, he has got to see it. I can start to talk to Tim about a dance and I can see his eyes start to glaze over. Then he'll go: 'Get some dancers, show me.' As soon as he sees it, then he can talk about it.

"I can understand why Tim always has the same team around him because you have got to have that understanding. He's quite shy but very perceptive. He's a very visual person."

On getting to know Burton:

"I went for an interview for Charlie with the producers and I didn't think it had gone very well at all. It was one of those interviews where I couldn't remember anything and I thought it all sounded a bit vague. The problem was that I had had a terrible time on De-Lovely, the Cole Porter musical, and I was a bit wary of working with Americans but then they invited me back to meet Tim.

"My rather stumbling interview worked in my favour because the producers knew you can't have someone who talks at Tim, you have to listen because Tim sometimes finds it hard to articulate what he's after which is why he'll often grab a pen and do you a drawing."

Jaynes recalled that Burton was interested in working with her because of her work on A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, Steven Spielberg's science-fiction tribute to the late master director Stanley Kubrick:

"The first thing that Tim said to me was 'I like the movement you did with Jude Law', referring to the work I had done on AI, and he was the only person, outside family and friends, who had noticed the work that went into that and that's because of the way that he animates his stop- motion work."

Jaynes work in the movie suggests that dance will be in Alice in Wonderland, if only briefly (maybe one scene or two). But in what context? In Lewis Carroll's original book, there are a couple of songs. Perhaps these will be adapted in Burton's cinematic version of the story? Or perhaps it'll be for character motion in general, for the weird assortment of Wonderland denizens.

You can read the full article to learn plenty more about Francesca Jaynes' various work in film and theater alike.