ABC's newest version of classic literary/Disney character Alice of Alice in Wonderland is a little older than in past adaptations. With that maturation, as well as the connection to fantasy drama Once Upon a Time, comes a darker tone for spin-off Once Upon a Time in Wonderland — and more importantly, a more powerful Alice.
Asked in an interview with Entertainment Weekly about what it's like to play a female character who is, in her case, not the damsel in distress but the one doing the rescuing, star Sophie Lowe said this:
She’s so powerful. Usually I play roles that are kind of weak. She’s a bit weak at the beginning, she’s a bit brokenhearted — but we find out that she’s not actually like that. [After the big fight scene], we’re like, “Oh, this is the real Alice.” She’s so much fun to play, and such an inspiring role.
We have yet to see the pilot for Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, but one of the most promising things about all the footage we have seen — and the talk the actors and creators have been doing — is that Alice seems to fit pretty well within the relatively wide range of female characters the ABC/Disney Once Upon a Time franchise seems determined to set up and expand.
When we first meet Alice, she's being kept in a mental ward by her father, imprisoned there because no one will believe the young girl spouting tales of magical places. She breaks out with the help of a friend, yes in search of a love interest, but also very much in a bid of control over her own destiny.
It's yet to be seen how Once Upon a Time in Wonderland will turn out — or how many times they can utter the phrase "true love," as we're pretty sure the original series is up to the 300s by now...but it'll be interesting to see where they take this more adult, action-centric version of little classic Alice.
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland premieres Thursday night on ABC.