What has been rumored since January finally became official on Wednesday (Aug. 16) when DreamWorks and Warner Bros. announced plans to co-produce a big screen adaptation of the classic musical "Sweeney Todd" to be directed by Tim Burton and star Johnny Depp.
Burton was actually originally set to direct "Sweeney Todd" for Warner Bros. a decade ago, but he fell off the project not to return again until earlier this year, bringing frequent collaborator Depp with him.
The Stephen Sondheim musical -- currently back on Broadway in an acclaimed revival -- focuses on the so-called Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Depp), who vows revenge on the judge who threw him in jail. Except close shaves and mysterious meat pies in what will be the sixth collaboration -- "Edward Scissorhands," "Ed Wood," "Sleepy Hollow," "Corpse Bride" and last summer's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" -- between Depp and Burton.
John Logan is writing the script and will produce along with Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald and Richard Zanuck. The plan is to have "Sweeney Todd" in production by the end of this year and in theaters at the end of 2007, with Paramount/DreamWorks handling domestic distribution and Warner Bros. taking the movie internationally.
"Sweeney Todd" really came together back in June. Before that time, Burton had been ready to direct Jim Carrey in "Ripley's Believe It or Now," while Depp was set to star for Peter Weir in "Shantaram." But when Paramount put "Ripley's" on hold for budgetary reasons and Weir left "Shantaram," Burton and Depp suddenly found themselves free.