I’m a fan of the Looking Glass Wars, by Frank Beddor. He took the classic story of Alice in Wonderland and completely transmogrified it. It’s like he read the book and said “how could I get guys interested in this series?” And then he did just that. From the card soldiers that resemble Transformers to a deadly bodyguard who’s most lethal weapon is his top hat, The Looking Glass Wars is absolutely worth the read.
My wife and I bought the audiobook online, and it stays true to the book. Audiobooks, I have found, carry some of the risks that making a movie from a book carry. For example, I’ve listened to two different audiobooks for Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart. One was enjoyable. The other had Brendan Fraser in it.
But, I was thumbing through my paperback copy of The Looking Glass Wars, and my wife suggested that Richard Armitage, from the Hobbit as well as the BBC’s North and South, would be perfect for the character of Hatter Madigan. And with that one thought bubbling in my mind, I set out to establish my dream cast for the movie version of the Looking Glass Wars.
- Richard Armitage as Hatter Madigan: It’s best if you see him in North and South, where he’s playing a character who’s got some class to him. He’s got the quiet somber deadliness that people expect from the millinery bodyguard to Queen Genevieve.
- Karen Gillan as Alyss Heart: People pretty much know her as Amy Pond from Doctor Who. She’s stalwart and brash, but also trusting and empathetic. As the grown up princess from Wonderland, She’d be able to pull of the barely managing in upper-crust society, yet still have that imaginative shine in her eye.
- Gillian Anderson as Queen Genevieve: Most people remember her from the X-Files, where she played the down-to-earth Dana Scully. Fans of Hayao Miyazaki’s films will note that she plays the voice of the wolf god Moro in Princess Mononoke. Side by side, aside from the fact that they’re both redheads, Gillian Anderson and Karen Gillan look like they could be related. That works for me.
- Maggie Smith as Redd: This was kind of wild when my brain put it together, but after mulling it around for a bit, the two worked out. Maggie Smith has been stern but kind as Professor McGonagall in Harry Potter, and aristocratic and witty as the Dowager countess in Downton Abbey. Dye her hair red, tell her to be mean, and she’d be perfect for the villian.
- Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the cat: Okay, who hasn’t wanted to see the huge, muscle-bound bodybuilder lying on his back batting at a piece of string? Dwayne Johnson has already proven he can be ruthless and act tough, but I also think he’s got a soft spot that would make him ideal for Redd’s top assassin.
- Liam Hemsworth as Dodge Anders: We didn’t get to see much of him as Katniss’s friend Gale in the Hunger Games, and many fans of the book series weren’t exactly thrilled about that. But, unmess his hair a bit, hand him a sword and a vigilante recklessness, and he could be the troubled Dodge.
- Tim Curry as Jack of Diamonds: I know he’s been around for awhile, and just off of images a blind man could tell he’s too old to be trying to woo someone as young as Karen Gillan, but that’s the magic of make-up and prosthetics. He could be. He’d be unflappable as the arrogant, pompous opportunist.
- Ron Glass as General Doppelganger: The general was harder to come up with. He had to be serious, but also have a bit of a kind side. I mean, he splits into two people just to lend a second voice when they’re singing happy birthday to Princess Alyss in the beginning. So, I saw Shepherd Book from Firefly and wondered if he could fit the role. And, give him a little sharper edge, and I think he would fit in well.
- George Broadbent as Bibwit Harte: I couldn’t get any ideas for him until I rewatched The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and saw Professor Kirke. There was the actor I needed for the large eared tutor of the Heart family.
So, I looked online and there are people who have optioned the movie for The Looking Glass Wars, but it’s indefinitely postponed. If something does happen, I’m confident it’ll be a great movie.