Depp is Burton’s Mad Hatter

Johnny Depp has signed on to perform the role of the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which will be brought to the screen in stereoscopic 3-D via performance-capture animation. The pic is just one of several Disney productions the actor has committed to. He’s also suiting up for a fourth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean saga, and is set to play Tonto in a new Lone Ranger flick. The announcements were made during a preview of upcoming Mouse House productions at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood on Wednesday.

The adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland is part of a two-picture deal inked between Disney and Burton. Written for the screen by Linda Woolverton (The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast), the movie is being produced by Richard Zanuck, Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd.

We’re told that Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Ken Ralston(Forrest Gump, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) is on set in London as the senior visual effects supervisor, working with Sony Pictures Imageworks on the animation. David Schaub is the animation supervisor and Sean Phillips and Carey Villegas are visual effects supervisors for Imageworks.

The second pic Burton is making for Disney is a 3-D stop-motion feature based on his 1984 live-action short film Frankenweenie. The film will center on a boy named Victor who, to the horror of his neighbors, brings his dead dog back to life. The toon will reportedly go into production after Wonderland has wrapped.