American Gods actress Yetide Badaki is looking to bring a new flair to the classic Alice in Wonderland tale with the launch of an Indiegogo fundraising campaign for short film Wonderland.
In the short film, Badaki will play Zodwa, an actress who supports herself by working at a diner. She goes on an audition that changes her life forever; she’s thrown headfirst into a strange world “where our rules don’t seem to apply.” Karen David (best known for roles in Once Upon a Time and Galavant) will play the film’s version of the Queen of Hearts, a hardcore casting director “who isn’t afraid to make heads roll,” and Dominic Burgess (known from The Feud and The Magicians) will play the Caterpillar-adjacent character Donald Craps, a studio director “who abuses his power” and, like his origin character, knows his way around a hookah. Other characters include the Rabbit, who is reimagined as a “distracted agent, preoccupied with time,” and the Hatter, who is “an auteur director who walks the fine line between brilliance and madness.”
“Have you ever had that moment where everything just seems a little surreal? Where you wonder if you’re descending into madness? Our film and TV industry can feel like stepping into a world that is almost like our own…but not quite. Almost like stepping through the looking glass!” states the Indiegogo page. “But the Hollywood Dream, just like Alice’s magical chase, comes with its own perils. With Wonderland, we’re looking to explore the duality of Hollywood magic — its enthralling quality as well as the more sinister undercurrents.”
The film is written by Badaki and is produced by Badaki, David and director Jessica Sherif. The campaign, aiming for $30,000, is close to its goal.
Badaki will reprise her role as Bilquis when American Gods returns to Starz in 2019.