Johnny Depp has signed to play the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s upcoming Alice in Wonderland  (see "Tim Burton to Make Alice in Wonderland"), as presented at a Disney event at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles and reported by the Hollywood trades and others.  Burton and Depp have worked together frequently throughout their careers on films that have become cult and merchandise hits, and Alice has the potential to join that list. 

 

The studio also announced that Depp will reprise his role as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean 4, and will play Tonto in the upcoming Lone Ranger film (see “Lone Ranger Update in the Works”).

 

The other big news at the event was primarily about Disney’s animated line-up.   Cars 2 will be moved up to summer 2011 from 2012 (see "Disney Going 3-D"), and in the run-up, a series of animated Cars shorts will be shown on Disney Channel and before films in the theater.  A new theme park attraction based on Cars will also open in Anaheim in 2011.