After Twitter confirmation from his UK agency, United Agents, of Richard’s upcoming, the thus far-little-talked-of-cameo in what’s looks to be a fine early summer blockbuster film, Alice Through the Looking Glass is getting some fan speculation as to what his character may be. After the most recent trailer, some seem to center on certain chess pieces that appear to bear an aquiline resemblance to the Armitage visage.
A stretch, to be sure-as resemblances go. But character-wise, the possibilities may not be all that lean. And the actor and creative company he is keeping is pretty stellar as well.
Here’s excerpts from the Chess Maniac Blog containing summaries of Carroll’s references to chess, based on his own fondness. Potential spoiler alert if you haven’t read the book(s):
“Through the Looking Glass has many chess references (none in Alice in Wonderland). In the story, the chess pieces have come to life. In a garden, Alice meets the Red Queen. The Red Queen reveals to Alice that the entire countryside [is] laid out in squares, like a gigantic chessboard.”
“The Red Queen offers to make Alice a White Queen if she can move all the way from the second rank to the eighth rank in a chess game. Alice starts out in the second rank as one of the White Queen’s pawns. She then makes her journey across the chessboard. A train gets her from the second row past the third row to the fourth row. This is just like chess, with a pawn going from the 2nd rank to the 4th rank on its first move.”
“On the 4th rank, she meets Tweedledee and Tweedledum. They point out the sleeping Red King.”
“Alice then meets the White Queen and they advance to the 5th rank by crossing over a brook together. She then crosses another brook into the 6th rank and runs into Humpty Dumpty. He falls and “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men” come to help, and are accompanied by the White King.”
“Alice reaches the 7th rank by crossing another brook into the forested territory of the Red Knight. The Red Knight is trying to capture the white pawn, which is Alice. She is saved by the White Knight. The White Knight escorts Alice through the forest towards the final brook-crossing to the 8th rank, but he keeps falling off his horse.”
“ Alice bids farewell to the White Knight and steps across the last brook to the 8th rank. She is then automatically crowned as queen, with the crown materializing abruptly on her head. She then finds herself in the company of the Red Queen and the other White queen. The other queens invite one another to a party that will be hosted by the newly crowned Alice, which Alice knows nothing about it.”
“Alice arrives at the party where there is chaos. Alice finally grabs the Red Queen and shakes her violently, thus “capturing” the Red Queen. Alice unknowingly puts the Red King into checkmate, and he finally wakes up.”
So there is a lot of interesting interaction both with the White Knight and Red King.
Based on the above detailed scenarios from Lewis Carroll’s book, if Richard’s character were to be a chess piece, what would you prefer to see?