Photo Credit: Disney
We live in a sequel-happy culture. Movie producers know that all they need to do to guarantee an audience for a film is to slap a number after its title (or, as the numbering of films becomes déclassé, a subtitle, as in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. But while fans of a film are almost always happy to see a sequel coming down the pike, they often don’t treat news of a remake as favorably. Just ask Tim Burton, whose Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was actually very good and yet met automatic disdain due to the inevitable comparisons to the 1971 Gene Wilder version. So why would Disney -- and Tim Burton -- not make it clear that their upcoming Alice in Wonderland is a sequel and not a remake?
Would you be more interested in a sequel to a classic film or a remake?
You’ve probably heard news of the new Alice, spotted movie posters announcing its arrival, and seen pics of a wild-haired, wild-eyed Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. But as the title of the film is merely Alice in Wonderland, you also probably assumed, as I did, that this was yet another retelling of the same old Lewis Carroll tale that’s already had close to two dozen film treatments over the years. Despite the fact that I’ve been a fan of all those Depp/Burton collaborations, I felt no need or desire to see a new Alice in Wonderland. How many times can one person really watch that caterpillar scene?
However, this new Alice is not a remake. It’s only when you watch the trailer that you finally see that this new film appears to be more closely based on Carroll’s sequel, Through the Looking Glass. The Red Queen is there with her living chessmen (not living playing cards), Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum are there and the Jabberwocky. You catch all of that if you pay attention to the trailer. So why isn’t the movie titled, Alice Through the Looking Glass, to let us know? Maybe Disney thought people wouldn’t automatically connect that less-famous title with the Wonderland tale they know so well. And it's obviously not a direct adaptation of Through the Looking Glass. But still, Alice is older in this new movie, and she's making her second trip to Wonderland in it, so why not at least call the movie, Alice Returns to Wonderland, or something like that? The recycled title baffles me. The promise of a new story is almost always more intriguing than that of a mere retelling.
Would you be more interested in a sequel to a classic film or a remake? Chime in below!