Pop fans, you need to sit down before you read this. According to HelloGiggles, the world was almost gifted with a Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake Alice in Wonderland musical movie. This is a thing that legit almost happened, and yes, I too am now crying over never seeing Spears play a modern Alice trapped in a crazy pop music wonderland. What movie did Spears make instead? Crossroads, so it's not all bad news, but I would prefer to live in a universe where they both existed.
This news was first uncovered by Broadly during an interview with Crossroads producer Ann Carli, and the film's screenwriter, the now legendary Shonda Rhimes. When Carli and her team presented the idea for Crossroads to MTV Films executive David Gale, he was already planning a project with not only Spears, but *NSYNC, and other popular pop acts of the time. The project was reportedly an updated take on Alice in Wonderland with Spears contemplating starring as the lead. Who knows what role Timberlake would have taken on, but you know it would have been amazing to see the then power couple in a movie together.
While it's hard to pinpoint the exact timeline of the trip to Wonderland that wasn't, in a 1999 article, Entertainment Weekly reported the movie would begin with a modern singer being hit by a VW Rabbit and knocked into a strange Wonderland-esque landscape. Honestly, the premise sounds like a masterpiece in the making. According to EW, the Mad Hatter was going to be a talent scout, the Queen of Hearts would have become the Queen of Pop, and the tea party scene was set to be a rap concert.
While I can't imagine a world without Crossroads in it, seeing Spears and Timberlake share the screen in such a wonderfully weird movie would have been amazing. Overall, Spears definitely made the right decision opting for a feminist road trip movie grounded in reality. That doesn't mean you can't mourn what might have been though.
Given the time period, I cannot help but wonder how many pop stars MTV would have drafted for the film. If they were circling Spears and *NSYNC, then surely they must have put in calls to Usher, The Backstreet Boys, and, dare I dream it, Madonna to play the Queen of Pop. The movie could have been stacked with all of the early '00s best pop musicians. It would have been a time capsule of music goodness wrapped in a trippy homage to Alice in Wonderland.
Sadly, like many movie projects, the Y2K Alice story never made it out of production. Spears made Crossroads instead, and Timberlake didn't make his film debut until 2001's Longshot. Still, I can't help but wonder what kind of magic they would have made had they fallen down that movie rabbit hole together.