The Mad Hatter: Depp v. Buscemi

Alexander S. Peak

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11 December 2008

Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter

As you have probably heard by now, Tim Burton is making a new movie based on the 1865 classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

This is great news, of course, and I have no doubt that Burton’s style will mesh beautifully with the general feel of the book.

There is, in fact, as far as I can at this time ascertain, only one big drawback to this whole thing:

Burton has chosen Johnny Depp to play the Mad Hatter.

Now don’t get me wrong: I like Depp.  I think he’s a great actor, and doubt I won’t enjoy his performance.  But, he’s not the right man for the role.

Steve Buscemi

Who is?  Why, Steve Buscemi, of course.

At this point in my article, I would generally give an argument for my position.  But in this case, I don’t really see a point.  It’s so obvious that Buscemi should get this role that I cannot help but to think Burton is acting downright foolish.  I know, he and Depp are friends.  I know, they have a long history together.  But none of that changes the fact that Buscemi was born to play this role.


Given how perfect Buscemi would be for this role, how absolutely, positively perfect, I really don’t even think I need to present an argument here.  Any argument I would give would be designed to counter those counter-arguments that I’d anticipate receiving.  But in this case, I don’t anticipate any counter-arguments.  For, after all, Buscemi is the perfect candidate to play the Mad Hatter.  It really doesn’t get any more perfect than that.

Yet Burton didn’t seek it.  He seeked Depp instead!—a good actor, mind you, but one not born for this role.

Buscemi, on the other hand?  Born for this role.


Really, I think that’s all that needs to be said about this.  Burton, you messed up.

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