James Bobin (“The Muppets”) is directing the sequel, which will find Mia Wasikowska and Helena Bonham Carter reprising their roles as Alice and the Red Queen, respectively. Sacha Baron Cohen will play a villain named Time.
Ifans is set to play Zanik Hightopp, the Mad Hatter’s father, who cannot hide his bright-colored hair beneath a top hat. Ifans is actually four years younger than Depp in real life, though the actors’ ages don’t really matter, as both will be covered in makeup and other prosthetics.
Mark Rylance had previously been in talks to play Zanik in the Joe Roth-produced sequel, which Disney will release on May 27, 2016.
Ifans, who recently starred opposite Wasikowska in “Madame Bovary,” will soon be seen alongside Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in “Serena.” Ifans is also preparing to play Dylan Thomas in the indie movie “Dominion.” He’s repped by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and 42.