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'Sweeney Todd' Starts Principal Photography in London

February 27th, 2007 11:26am EST
Johnny Depp stars in Sweeney ToddPrincipal photography has begun in London on Sweeney Todd, starring Johnny Depp in the Tim Burton directed screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's award-winning musical thriller. The DreamWorks Pictures and Warner Bros. co-production presents Depp as Sweeney Todd, a man unjustly sent to prison, who vows revenge not only for that cruel punishment but for the devastating consequences of what happened to his wife and daughter. When he returns to reopen his barber shop, he becomes the Demon Barber of Fleet Street who "shaved the heads of gentleman who never thereafter were heard from again."

"I've always wanted to do a musical and 'Sweeney Todd' is my favorite," said Tim Burton. "Stephen's blend of humor, horror and emotion is something that has always connected with me."

"Sometimes a story or stage production has to wait a long time until the right people come together to turn it into a motion picture," said Stephen Sondheim. "That's what has happened with 'Sweeney Todd' and I'm excited as well as confident that it will be a first-rate and startling movie."

Also starring in the Parkes/MacDonald and Zanuck Company production is Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett who creates her diabolical meat pies while becoming Sweeney's amorous accomplice. Alan Rickman is the evil Judge Turpin who sent him unfairly to prison, thereby sowing the seeds of Sweeney's vengeance. Timothy Spall plays the Judge's wicked associate Beadle Bamford. Sacha Baron Cohen is a rival barber, the flamboyant Signor Adolfo Pirelli, and Christopher Lee takes on the role of the gentleman ghost.

All the stars will do their own singing from Stephen Sondheim's music and lyrics.