Yetide Badaki Reimagines Alice in Wonderland

American Gods actress Yetide Badaki will be reimagining the classic tale Alice in Wonderland after blowing through an Indiegogo fundraising campaign in June.  Her initial goal for the short film Wonderland was $30,000, but within a month she surpassed her goal and raised $40,710.

Wonderland takes the world of Alice and sets it against the backdrop of Hollywood – which can be just as full of twists and turns. Badaki wrote the short, and it’s her take on being a woman in Hollywood. Also, she plans to “explore the duality of Hollywood magic – it’s enthralling quality as well as the more sinister undercurrents.”

In the film, she will play Zodwa, an actress who supports herself by working as a waitress. One day, Zodwa gets a call for a once in a lifetime audition that could change her life. But once she gets there, she’s flung into a world “where our rules don’t seem to apply.”

Karen David (Once Upon a Time, Galavant) will play The Queen of Hearts, a tough as nails casting director “who isn’t afraid to make heads roll.”

Finally, rounding out the cast is Dominic Burgess and Jen Richards. Burgess (Feud, The Flash) will play The Caterpillar, a hookah smoking studio executive who abuses his power and Richards (Nashville) will play Hatter, a film director who walks the fine line between brilliance and madness. Other characters include The Rabbit, reimagined as a distracted agent, preoccupied with time.

Why Are We Excited About Wonderland?

I want to see this film for two reasons: one, it features a diverse and inclusive cast. Two, I like that its set in Hollywood. Also, the unique premise caught my eye. Since Badaki took her experience in Hollywood and combined it with Alice in Wonderland, a tale that uses surrealism, the possibilities are endless. Additionally, I’m glad that she talked about representation in media in the campaign video. Ever since I started writing, representation in media is something I’ve always written about – it’s kind of my thing.

The fact that Badaki blew past her goal shows that audiences are hungry for diverse and inclusive stories as well. The powers that be may have said audiences weren’t ready for diverse and inclusive stories. People like me were told to wait our turn time after time. Somehow, if we would shut up and didn’t rock the boat, things would magically change. If they didn’t tell us to wait, they told us to be happy with the few crumbs of representation that we got. Seeing the needle move in the right directions gives me some hope.

Watch the trailer below!


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