Rob Ashford has been tapped to direct and choreograph the stage adaptation of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, according to Variety. The new musical, produced by Disney Theatrical, will feature a book by the film’s screenwriter Linda Woolverton and incorporate Burton’s unique aesthetic into show’s design. No casting or production dates have been set, though it is believed the musical will premiere in London.
The musical will follow the plot of the 2010 film and not Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel or the 1951 Disney cartoon. In the 2010 film, 19-year-old Alice escapes the pressures of growing up by returning to Wonderland only to find herself entrenched in a war with the Red Queen. Burton’s Alice in Wonderland won two Oscars and is the ninth highest-grossing film of all time.
Ashford won a Tony Award in 2002 for his choreography of Thoroughly Modern Millie. He has been nominated for his work on How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Promises, Promises, The Wedding Singer, Curtains and Cry-Baby. Ashford is also a five-time Olivier Award nominee for his work on the London productions of Evita, Parade, Guys & Dolls and Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Alice in Wonderland is one of three musicals Disney currently has in the works. The Broadway powerhouse is also reportedly working on stage productions of the animated feature Dumbo and the popular live-action film Father of the Bride. The last Broadway incarnation of the Alice in Wonderland story was the short-lived Frank Wildhorn musical Wonderland in 2011.