This weekend I was very pleased to hear that American McGee’s version of Alice might be heading to the big screen.
For those of you who have no idea who I’m talking about, American McGee is the name of a video game designer and programmer. He worked on many memorable games, but is probably best known as the creator of Alice.
But it’s not exactly the Lewis Carroll version of Alice in Wonderland…. oh, no no no.
In this incarnation, Alice is psychotic and has been living in a mental asylum for 10 years. She returns to Wonderland with the hope of regaining her sanity. Most of the characters from Carroll’s book show up in the video game, but these creatures are warped and sometimes frightening, adding to Alice’s paranoia and tenuous grip on reality.
The Cheshire Cat and the White Rabbit are her allies as she does battle with the Queen of Hearts. To aid her in battle, she has access to some very nasty weapons including a Vorpal Blade and a large mallet that would make Thor jealous.
This was one of the best “battle” games produced around the millennium, thanks mainly to interesting characters, an engaging story, and amazingly realistic and bizarre graphics and sound.
It also pissed off enough parents and religious groups that Electronic Arts, the game’s distributor, caved to the pressure and changed the cover art. It originally depicted Alice wielding the Vorpal Blade, but was softened in later releases by depicting her holding the Icewand.
Since the game debuted, it has had a rabid following and merchandise sales have been steady for the past 14 years. Sales numbers were so good in fact, that in 2011, Alice: Madness Returns was released to rave reviews.
I just purchased a copy from eBay and will be playing it soon (better late than never). Interestingly, Alice was back to brandishing the Blade on the cover of the box.
If the movie can do justice to the book, and they entice the right director (Tim Burton already tried his hand at an Alice flick), the movie will kick some Wonderland ass.