Johnny Depp will play kids’ favourite The Mad Hatter in his new film version of Alice In Wonderland. The film, which will be shot using a combination of motion capture and live-action, sees Depp teaming up yet again with director pal Tim Burton.

Burton made Depp a household name after handing him the title role in quirky hit Edward Scissorhands in 1990. The Pirates Of The Caribbean actor has since starred in several of the eccentric director’s flicks, including last years critically acclaimed Sweeney Todd and the fantastic Ed Wood. But the Alice project is said to be their most tantalizing yet.

A source close to Burton has said, “Tim has had designs on Alice in Wonderland’since before he was famous. He has a knack for turning what seems like stories for just kids into gripping, spooky fables loved just as much by adults. He’s held out on doing Alice until he got a big enough budget. Now this film is financed by Disney so money won’t be a problem.”

I personally wonder if how dark Burton wants to take the film will be a problem with Disney, after all it was where Burton began his film-making career leaving his job with Disney behind in order to pursue his darker more gothic ideas. I was under-whelmed by Sweeney Todd and his gothic, largely mediocre, output lately is beginning to grow boring. Particularly in his persistent casting of Depp and Bohnam-Carter (whom i’d guarantee is announced as the Queen Of Hearts soon!). Both are excellent actors but they seem to slip into parodies of themselves when Burton is at the helm, and Burton himself is capable of some excellent film-making (see Ed Wood and Big Fish) lets hope Alice can turn this poor and all to familiar trend around with more than just a run-of-the-mill gothic take on an old story.

The movie – which is scheduled for release in 2010 – will be the seventh time Johnny and Tim have worked together, maybe Burton should venture a little further out of his circle of friends when casting! Depp will join the already cast Mia Wasikowska who will play Alice.