Burton sneaks Sweeney

Sweeney ToddAt the Venice Film Festival, where he received a Golden Lion for lifetime achievement, director Tim Burton unveiled an eight-minute sneak of SWEENEY TODD. Variety’s Nick Vivarelli liked what he saw:

The clips, in sharp desaturated color, consisted largely of a key scene in the Stephen Sondheim musical in which Todd, played by Johnny Depp, is handed a razor case by Mrs. Lovett, played by Helena Bonham Carter.

Singing “My Friends” Depp proved he can carry a tune, dueting delightfully with Bonham Carter, herself debuting as a chantoosie.

A white streak in his hair, a mad twinkle in his eye, Depp — in his sixth Burton pic — seemed in fine form in the quick sneak, which, while entertainingly eerie, displayed no violence. Pic is reportedly headed for an “R” rating.

“I am just trying to make an old-fashioned horror movie with music in it,” Burton said at the presser.

He added that pics with “people like Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre” are among vintage scary works he drew on for inspiration.

“It’s quite uncharted territory. I don’t think there are that many horror movie musicals out there these days,” Burton noted. “It will be interesting to see what happens with it.”

Depp himself was on hand to deliver the Golden Lion to Burton. The event concluded with a screening of 3-D version of Tim Burton’s THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, which Disney is planning to re-release this October (no doubt in limited engagements, as has become an annual tradition with the film, even before its 3D airbrush job).

About the Author

Steve Biodrowski

Cinefantastique's Los Angeles Correspondent from 1987 to 1993 and West Coast Editor from 1993 to 1999. Currently the webmaster of Cinefantastique Online, I also run a website called Hollywood Gothique that covers Halloween Horror and Sci-Fi Cinema Events in the Los Angeles area.

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