I thought that I was excited to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  I am.  I am quite looking forward to it.  It’s one of the only fantasy film offerings this year that’s worth my time.  I’ve been kind of gleeful and I’ve posted pictures and squee over at my blog now and then.  It has definitely been a case of healthy film anticipation.

 

 And then, today, less than 5 minutes ago, I saw this:

 

Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter

 Pardon me while I reattach my lower jaw to the rest of my face. 

 

 I’ve seen hints of this costume in lame illegal production shots that have leaked online, but to finally see it in its high res and full color glory?  I am…stunned.

 

 I will collect myself long enough to tell those of you who do not know: This is Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter for Tim Burton’s reimagining of Alice in WonderlandWired posted a set of gorgeous production stills last week which is essentially the first legal glimpse we’ve been given into this film and the style Burton was going for.  Of course it’s very Tim Burton but I could never have imagined what I’m seeing in these shots, even from him.  I guess that’s why he makes the big bucks. 

 

 I used to be a scoffer when it came to Tim Burton.  I scoffed at his constantly stylized (and sometimes overstylized) films and his seeming inability to tackle any other type of film.  My scoffing didn’t keep me from enjoying his movies to death, but it did cause me to be cranky a few years ago when I first heard that he was taking on my beloved Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.   

 

However, I went and saw the movie.  I ate my scoff.  It’s really delicious with a nice chutney.

 

Since then I’ve been rather excited about his new projects.  I have to say that even though he does tend toward the dark or the weird, his style has definitely evolved.  Just look at those production stills.  They are stunning!   We never would have seen this kind of artistry in his Beetlejuice days, as much as I love that movie.  I’m grateful that Mr. Burton the mature artist is directing this film.  It looks to be amazing!

 

But March 2010?  Really?  I don’t know how I’ll manage to wait that long.