Published On: Tue, May 17th, 2016

Suzanne Todd reflects on ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ process, development

Collider was recently invited to an early press day for Disney’s upcoming Alice Through the Looking Glass, directed by James Bobin, and to chat with one of the film’s producers, Suzanne Todd.

Todd reflected on the success of the first, explaining how it even came to be: “We spent a very long time working on the script. None of us expected that there would be a second movie. This was one of those movies when we started it where Linda (Woolverton) had had this idea that she wanted to do a female empowerment movie and we loved the idea of Alice….”

Mia Wasikowska as Alice  in Alice Through the Looking Glass photo“…There was a moment of shock just after the movie came out to say, ‘How could it have made this much money? That seems nuts, but a happy accident.’ Then, it took us a long time to figure out a story we wanted to tell. There isn’t a natural story in the second book that you can just take and adapt as a movie. We worked for a very long time, over a year, on the idea and then a script before we started looking for directors. Then, the process actually takes much longer than a normal movie. A regular movie, if it doesn’t have visual effects, will have maybe a 20-24 week post. We finished shooting in October of 2014 and we are still in post, all day, every day. It’s much longer by an exponential number just in terms of days and manpower to get it finished.”

Back for the new adventure from Lewis Carroll’s popular stories is Alice (Mia Wasikowska), returning to the magical realm of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp). The sequel to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland reunites the cast and memorable characters from the first film and introduces several new characters: Zanik Hightopp (Rhys Ifans), the Mad Hatter’s father, and Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen), a time-traveling villain who is part human, part clock.


Johnny Depp as Mad Hatter in Alice THrough the Looking GlassA new film was quite a challenge, Todd told Collider: “It was an interesting challenge because none of us felt like trying to do a second version of the first movie would work. The movie worked in the way that it did. It was kind of an anomaly in time…The idea really was, how could we stay true to what we loved about the first movie, but reinvent it. I think we pulled back into just the characters and the storytelling and tried to do a good version of what you try and do on every movie, which is character stories that are resonant and feel authentic, and then put them in plotlines that are complex and interesting and exciting. This movie, when you get to see the whole thing, is actually – not to say it’s an action-adventure – it’s not a Divergent movie – but there is a lot more action in it than you will expect….”

Check out the full interview HERE

Alice Through the Looking Glass arrives in theaters on May 27, 2016.

Alice Through the Looking Glass movie poster Mad Hatter in center

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About the Author

- Sierra is a copy writer for The Dispatch, focusing primarily on pop culture and stories linked to the latest Christian headlines, both in the U.S. and overseas.

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