Burton & Depp Together for the 6th Time: Sweeney Todd

by | August 17, 2006 | Comments

When Tim Burton and Johnny Depp get together, pretty wild movies tend to happen. Frankly I think all five of their previous collaborations have been darn fine films, and here’s some good news: That "Sweeney Todd" adaptation they’ve been planning is finally locked down and ready for production…

"DreamWorks Studios announced today that Johnny Depp has been set to star and Tim Burton to direct "Sweeney Todd," the award-winning Stephen Sondheim musical thriller.

The co-production with Warner Bros. will star Johnny Depp as the titular Demon Barber of Fleet Street … "Sweeney Todd" marks the 6th collaboration between the actor and director. The previous Burton-Depp films have been "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride," "Ed Wood," "Edward Scissorhands" and "Sleepy Hollow."

Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald will partner with Richard Zanuck and John Logan to produce the screenplay adaptation which was written by Logan. Production is planned to begin early next year for a late 2007 release. Paramount will distribute for DreamWorks domestically and Warner Bros. internationally.

The Broadway production of "Sweeney Todd," with Sondheim’s music and lyrics and a book by Hugh Wheeler based on the play by Christopher Bond, opened in 1979 and won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Its mix of the comic, the dramatic and the macabre held together by Sondheim’s movie-like score has had hundreds of productions throughout the world. A highly acclaimed revival is now playing in New York.

The story of "Sweeney Todd" is of a wrongfully imprisoned barber in Victorian England who sets out to seek revenge on the judge who imprisoned him. The plot is foreshadowed in the first lines of the opening number: "Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd./His skin was pale and his eye was odd./He shaved the faces of gentlemen/Who never thereafter were heard of again."

Sondheim is known in the theater for the lyrics to "West Side Story" and "Gypsy," the music and lyrics for "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," "Company," "Follies," "A Little Night Music" and the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Sunday in the Park With George," among others, as well as the film scores of Stavisky and Reds (the latter co-written with Dave Grusin) and the Academy Award®-winning Best Original Song "Sooner or Later" from the Warren Beatty movie "Dick Tracy."

Tim Burton is also developing the Paramount production of "Ripley’s Believe It Or Not."

Producer/Writer John Logan’s most recent screenplays were "The Aviator" and "The Last Samurai," and he was nominated for an Oscar for his work on DreamWorks’ "Gladiator."

(DreamWorks press release acquired via ComingSoon.net)

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