Just as writer-director Nick Willing completely turned The Wizard of Oz on its ear with the Syfy's Tin Man, he's up to the same trick with Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, reinventing it as an upcoming modern-day, off-the-wall four-hour Syfy movie entitled Alice. The biggest change? Alice isn't a little girl anymore, but rather a 20-something with daddy issues and commitment problems.
All those tweaks were fine with Canadian actress Caterina Scorsone, whose credits include Goosebumps and 1-800-Missing. She beat out 300 women for the coveted role of Alice Hamilton and interacts with a wide variety of re-imagined characters that includes the Hatter (Andrew Lee Potts), the Queen of Hearts (Kathy Bates), Jack Chase (Philip Winchester), the King of Hearts (Colm Meaney), Caterpillar (Harry Dean Stanton), Dodo (Tim Curry) and the White Knight (Matt Frewer).
"In the Lewis Carroll story, Alice was this young girl, and in this version she's not," Scorsone said in an exclusive interview. "That's significant. In the books, because she's a child, she doesn't have a lot of history and life of her own. In this version, Alice comes with a full trunk of luggage with her own traumas and history and scars. In the original story, Alice finds herself in Wonderland and walks through this world and encounters these really interesting characters, and so her adventure is these little vignettes."
Willing's adaptation, however, provides Alice with a rich interior life. "It becomes clear that she's been abandoned by her father as a child," Scorsone said. "So she's got all of these daddy issues, relationship issues, and a lot of emotional repression. Basically, throughout the course of the film, we journey with her into her interior life, which is Wonderland, and she becomes liberated from herself. So it's this beautiful journey of maturation for this woman who really hasn't been able to embrace her womanhood up to this point."
Alice will premiere at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Dec. 6 and conclude on Dec. 7. Though it hasn't even aired yet, there's already buzz about a sequel. Scorsone, who'll be seen next in the Mel Gibson film thriller Edge of Darkness, revealed that she'd be into returning for another adventure as Alice.
"This was just a really, really positive experience on a personal level," she said. "So the combination of having had a really strong, interesting female character to play and having a really great group of people to work with, and not having to do it for years [as a TV series regular], I think I'd be all over it, doing more. I know that they have been talking about it, so I know there are some ideas for it if they wanted to do more. And, yeah, I'd totally be game."