Tim Burton will direct the film, which stars Johnny Depp as Sweeney and Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett. Sacha Baron Cohen plays the supporting role of Signor Adolfo Pirelli.
Rickman directed the current Off-Broadway play Rachel Corrie and co-edited the work from the writings of the title character, a 23-year-old American protester who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer. He has received Tony nominations for each of his two Broadway roles — Private Lives in 2002 and Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1987. His many UK credits include Antony and Cleopatra, Private Lives, Tango at the End of Winter and Hamlet .
Rickman is perhaps best known for his film roles, such as Severus Snape in the “Harry Potter” film series, and the villain Hans Gruber in “Die Hard.” Other well-known film roles are “Galaxy Quest,” “Love Actually,” “Dogma,” “Sense and Sensibility,” “Michael Collins,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” and “Truly Madly Deeply.” He won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for appearing in the miniseries “Rasputin” and was nominated for an Emmy for the television movie “Something the Lord Made.”
John Logan ("The Aviator," "Gladiator") penned the screenplay for the "Sweeney Todd" film. Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald will partner with Richard Zanuck and John Logan to produce the co-production with Warner Bros. Paramount will distribute for DreamWorks domestically and Warner Bros. internationally.
* Burton returns to his familiar casting pool for Depp — the duo have previously teamed on "Edward Scissorhands," "Ed Wood," "Sleepy Hollow," "Corpse Bride" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" — and Carter — seen in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Big Fish," "Planet of the Apes" and in voice on " Corpse Bride."
“Sweeney Todd” is slated to begin filming in Februray of 2007 at London's Pinewood Studios. Also attached to the project are costume designer Colleen Atwood ("Memoirs of a Geisha") and cinematographer Dante Spinotti ("L.A. Confidential").
The musical Sweeney Todd follows the story of a wrongfully imprisoned barber in Victorian England who sets out to seek revenge on the judge who imprisoned him. The stage work features a score by Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler based on the play by Christopher Bond.
Sweeney Todd originally opened on Broadway in 1979 starring Len Cariou (as Sweeney) and Angela Lansbury (as Mrs. Lovett) — both earned Tony Awards for their performances. Harold Prince directed the production, which took home the 1979 Tony for Best Musical. Subsequent revivals have starred Beth Fowler and Bob Gunton (1989 on Broadway), George Hearn and Patti LuPone (2001 concert), Brian Stokes Mitchell and Christine Baranski (2002 - Kennedy Center) and the recent revival with Michael Cerveris and LuPone.
The score includes such tunes as "The Worst Pies in London," "Johanna," "Pretty Women," "A Little Priest," "By the Sea" and "Not While I'm Around."