DreamWorks Greenlights Tim Burton Sweeney Todd Film Starring Johnny Depp

News   DreamWorks Greenlights Tim Burton Sweeney Todd Film Starring Johnny Depp DreamWorks Studios confirmed plans for the upcoming Tim Burton film version of Stephen Sondheim's musical Sweeney Todd starring his constant collaborator Johnny Depp in the title role.
Johnny Depp in
Johnny Depp in "From Hell" Photo by Jurgen Vollmer

John Logan ("The Aviator," "Gladiator") penned the screenplay adaptation planned to begin work early in 2007 for a "late 2007 release," according to the announcement. 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. 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 featuring a score by Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler based on the play by Christopher Bond.

The original 1979 Broadway production starred Len Cariou as the barbarous barber with Angela Lansbury as his pie-making cohort in the Harold Prince-directed work. Both stars and the musical itself earned Tony Awards. In the current Broadway run, re-imagined by director John Doyle and starring Michael Cerveris and Patti LuPone, the actors play their own instruments. Other incarnations of the work include a 1989 Broadway revival featuring Bob Gunton and Beth Fowler, a Kennedy Center run as part of a Sondheim Celebration with Brian Stokes Mitchell and Christine Baranski as well as a 2001 concert presentation, directed by Lonny Price and led by George Hearn and LuPone.

The film will reunite Depp with Burton once again — the duo have previously worked together on "Edward Scissorhands," "Ed Wood," "Sleepy Hollow," "Corpse Bride" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."