EXCLUSIVE: From Las Vegas’ underbelly to Wonderland. NBC is finalizing a deal for Wonderland, a drama set in the world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland that will be executive produced by CSI creator Anthony Zuiker. The project, which will be written by feature scribe Whit Anderson, stems from Zuiker’s overall deal with ABC Studios, which has him partnering with studio-based Brillstein Entertainment Partners on development. Wonderland is set years after the events in the book and centers on Alice and a new character, Clara. Seven years ago, Clara’s life took an unexplained turn for the worse, and a mysterious stranger tells her there may be an explanation after all… an explanation that lies in the fantastical world of Wonderland. To revive her dreams and get her life back on track, Clara must wage war against Wonderland’s reigning Queen, the woman we once knew as Alice. “Whit Anderson is a true visionary,” Zuiker said. “Her reimagining of Alice In Wonderland blew us away and we are very excited to bring this to television.”
Wonderland will be produced by ABC Studios, Brillstein and Zuiker’s Dare To Pass banner. Zuiker and Anderson, both repped by CAA, will executive produce with Brillstein’s president of TV JoAnn Alfano and Zuiker’s long-time manager, Brillstein’s Margaret Riley. Dare To Pass president Matt Weinberg also is expected to produce.
The Alice In Wonderland concept is popular this season. The CW has in development Wunderland, a contemporary reimagining of Alice In Wonderland from McG and Chad Hodge. And Lionsgate TV is prepping a pitch after acquiring this summer Zenescope’s Wonderland graphic novels, a modern retelling of Carroll’s novel from the point of view of Alice’s daughter. ABC, of course, has elements from Alice In Wonderland featured in its fairytale drama Once Upon A Time, which is likely the reason the ABC Studios-produced Wonderland sold to an outside network.
This is Anderson’s second stab at rebooting a popular fantasy/supernatural franchise. In 2010, she was tapped to write a new Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie. For Zuiker and Dare To Pass, this would be the second sale this season, along with soap Taboo at ABC with writer Sara Goodman. Zuiker’s digital film, Cybergeddon, launched recently on Yahoo.