Garth Franklin of DarkHorizons.com reports the up-coming Tim Burton movie-musical adaptation of Sweeney Todd will receive an MPAA R-rating due to the amount of violence and gore in the film.
“Word was that Sweeney Todd, Tim Burton’s film version of the Stephen Sondheim musical about a barber who slashes throats and his cohort who bakes their remains into pies, had a lot of violence and gore. So, talk began that it was to be cut down to a PG-13 by executives hoping to cash in on Johnny Depp’s bankability with the teen crowd,” states the website, “The good news is the cuts aren’t being made, the MPAA has passed the film with an R-rating for ‘graphic bloody violence’ which sounds like Burton’s vision is remaining intact.”
While riskier parts of Burton’s film may remain intact, speculators say this may also make it more difficult for underage musical theatre- and Depp-fans alike to buy tickets.
Sweeney Todd will go into a limited domestic release on December 21, 2007, and open in wide release in the US on January 11, 2008. Sweeney Todd, a co-production between DreamWorks and Warner Bros., marks the 6th collaboration between the Depp and Burton. Production began on February 5th, 2007.
The film stars Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd with Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett, Alan Rickman as Judge Turpin, Jayne Wisener as Johanna and Sacha Baran Cohen as Pirelli, as well as Jamie Bower as Anthony, Ed Sanders as Tobias, Timothy Spall as Beadle Bamford, Laura Michelle Kelly as the Beggar Woman, with Christopher Lee, Michael N. Harbour, Peter Bowles, Anthony Head and Ian Burford.
Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald partner with Richard Zanuck and John Logan to produce the screenplay adaptation which is written by Logan (The Aviator, Gladiator). Paramount will distribute for DreamWorks domestically and Warner Bros. internationally.
The story of Sweeney Todd is of a wrongfully imprisoned barber in Victorian England who sets out to seek revenge on the judge who imprisoned him. He is helped by Mrs. Lovett, who bakes Sweeney’s victims into “the worst pies in London.”
The Broadway production of Sweeney Todd, with Stephen Sondheim’s music and lyrics and a book by Hugh Wheeler based on the play by Christopher Bond, opened in 1979 and won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. “Its mix of the comic, the dramatic and the macabre held together by Sondheim’s movie-like score has had hundreds of productions throughout the world,” according to press notes. John Doyle’s highly acclaimed revival (for which he won a Tony) recently played the Eugene O’Neill Theatre; Michael Cerveris and Patti LuPone starred.