Tim Burton won't be coming back to direct the upcoming sequel to Alice in Wonderland, instead handing the reigns over to Muppets Most Wanted director James Bobin, but the same can't be said about his two most frequent actor collaborators. It was revealed last November that Johnny Depp will be coming back to reprise his role as The Mad Hatter, and today Variety reports that Helena Bonham Carter, who played the Red Queen, is in negotiations to come back as well.
Titled Through The Looking Glass, the new film is expected to be based on the novel of the same name by Lewis Carroll, which follows Alice as she enters a mysterious parallel universe after stepping through the mirror hanging above her fireplace. Mia Wasikowska will also be back to reprise her role as Alice, and Sacha Baron Cohen is in talks to play the central antagonist. Linda Woolverton, who also scripted Burton's Alice in Wonderland is currently working on the script.
Carter underwent an extremely heavy makeup process every day she was shooting on the first film, which took a long time to apply. She must have really enjoyed playing the part if she's willing to go through all of it again (or they are giving her a sizable bonus).
With three original castmembers now on board Through The Looking Glass, the obvious question becomes "Who else will join?" Unfortunately that's not a question we can really answer right now. Variety says that at this time it's unknown whether actors like Anne Hathaway or Alan Rickman will be returning for the sequel - or even if they're needed in the story.
In addition to the Alice in Wonderland sequel, Bonham Carter has a number of high-profile projects coming up. Soon she will be seen as part of the excellent cast of the BBC film Salting The Battlefield with Ralph Fiennes and Bill Nighy, and then in 2015 she has both Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella, where she will play the Fairy Godmother; and Suffragette with Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan.
Disney has set Through The Looking Glass for a May 27, 2016 release date, which means that production could start up as early as the end of this year.