Warner Bros. Butchering Sweeney Todd?

Because nothing says "family fun" like a musical about cannibalism!

by | August 27, 2007 | Comments

You would think any studio that greenlighted an adaptation of Sweeney Todd — the classic musical about a homicidal barber — would be prepared for plenty of blood and guts. And, as it turns out, you’d be wrong: The Sunday Mail is reporting that Warner Bros. has ordered significant, um, cuts to Tim Burton‘s grisly take on the story.

According to the article, Warners is aiming for a PG-13 rating, and after viewing some bloody footage from the film, executives handed down the edict to trim some of Sweeney‘s more graphic murder scenes. From the article:

During filming at Pinewood studios, prosthetic lookalike limbs were used (obviously the real thing would have been taking realism too far!) and they were so gruesomely lifelike that some of the crew became nauseous and had to take fresh air breaks…those on set were further spooked because there were piles and piles of sliced-up ‘corpses’, plus several spare ‘necks’ in case Burton wanted to shoot several takes of the same throat-cutting scene.

Sounds appropriately sordid, given the source material, but it’s called the movie business for a reason, and it really isn’t surprising that Warners would do anything possible to broaden the marketability of a musical opening near Christmas. Of course, by trying to get everyone in the theater, studios frequently seem to wind up attracting no one at all. We’ll find out how much of Burton’s vision survived when Sweeney Todd arrives on screens December 21.

Source: The Sunday Mail