Paul Reubens is leaving Pee-Wee’s Playhouse for new digs in Wonderland.
The former Pee-Wee Herman is joining ABC’s upcoming Once Upon A Time In Wonderland, voicing one of the best-known characters in Lewis Carroll’s fictional world, The White Rabbit.
The show, from Once Upon A Time creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, is a spin-off of the hit ABC series, and is set in Wonderland prior to The Curse that served as the basis for Once‘s first season. The story centers on Alice (Sophie Lowe), a girl who has “a generous heart but carries the scars of a long hard life.” Also featured in the cast are Peter Gadiot as Cyrus, Alice’s love interest; Michael Socha as the Knave of Hearts, an adventurer with a wry sense of humor; Emma Rigby (of British soap opera Hollyoaks) as the Red Queen; and Barbara Hershey, reprising her role from Once as Cora, through flashbacks. The latter casting note is dependent upon the pilot being picked up to series. Meanwhile, Sebastian Stan would also likely reprise his role as the Mad Hatter.
More concrete details about the series are scarce, but it’s known that The White Rabbit will, obviously, be a CG character, as will Wonderland mainstay the Cheshire Cat. Given Once’s occasionally spotty VFX work, I’m a little concerned about their ability to pull off an entire series set in a green-screened world. Hopefully, the creative forces behind the show will be able to integrate exterior sets into the series, if only to give the setting a more realistic appearance (then again, they might not necessarily be going for “real” — it’s Wonderland, after all).
The four-scene Once Upon A Time In Wonderland presentation is expected to begin filming later this week in Vancouver, directed by Ralph Hemecker, who’s directed a total of seven episodes of Once Upon A Time, two of which took place in Wonderland. Once showrunners Kitsis and Horowitz will executive produce alongside Steve Pearlman.