During the last decade, American McGee's Alice was picked up by then Disney-owned studio Miramax to be turned into a feature film. The movie didn't happen. Tim Burton, however, did make a version of Alice in Wonderland.
So, what did American McGee think about the Burton film? "I didn't like it," McGee told Kotaku. "It was scattered. Alice In Wonderland needs to be about Alice."
This isn't sour grapes — McGee does have a point. Tim Burton's version wasn't focused on Alice and got caught up on the story's side characters. McGee says a movie about Alice In Wonderland should be about Alice. He's right. It should be.
"They had all the ingredients right," McGee added, "then they diluted it."
When McGee's Alice was optioned by Hollywood, the project was going to be directed by Nightmare on Elm Street creator Wes Craven and written by current Burton collaborator John August. At the time, Craven was making movies for Miramax's horror division Dimension, while August was one of the hottest screenwriters in Hollywood.
The project, however, never materialized and went from Miramax to Fox and then later to Universal. McGee doesn't rule out the possibility of the prospects of an Alice film project sometime in the future, but would not reveal whether the film's rights had reverted back to Alice publisher EA or whether the rights had been picked up by McGee's own studio. "It is not something we can talk about right now," he said.
Alice in Wonderland is a story that is close to McGee's heart. He first read the story when he was in grade school, and it has stuck with him. It is not something he plans to leave anytime soon.
McGee told Kotaku that he and his studio plan to continue to explore Alice, saying that it there is plenty of material left to be mined.
American McGee and his China-based Spicy Horse studio are currently working on Alice: Madness Returns. The game is due out next year.