Film: “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

Movie Production Notes

(Photo left) Johnny Depp (center) stars in the title role of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” DreamWorks Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures Present A Parkes/MacDonald Production A Zanuck Company Production A Tim Burton film, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall and Sacha Baron Cohen. The film is directed by Tim Burton from a screenplay by John Logan, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, based on the Tony Award-winning musical “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street” by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler Originally Staged by Harold Prince from an adaptation of “Sweeney Todd” by Christopher Bond. The film’s producers are Richard D. Zanuck, Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald and John Logan. The executive producer is Patrick McCormick. This film has been rated R for graphic bloody violence. Photo Credit: Peter Mountain © 2007 by DreamWorks LLC and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Filming Sweeny Todd

From the dark, Gothic imagination of director Tim Burton ("Batman," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory") and starring Academy Award(R) and Golden Globe nominee Johnny Depp ("Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," the "Pirates of the Caribbean" trilogy) comes "Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," a bloody tale of music, murder, melodrama, meat pies and one man's desperate desire for revenge.

Arriving back in London after escaping from 15 years of false imprisonment in Australia, Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp) vows to kill the evil Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) and his nefarious henchman Beadle Bamford (Timothy Spall), who shipped him off to the other side of the world on a trumped-up charge in order to steal his wife, Lucy (Laura Michelle Kelly), and his baby daughter from him.

Adopting the guise of Sweeney Todd, Barker sets up shop in his old Barber Shop above the pie-making premises of Mrs. Nellie Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter), who tells him that his wife poisoned herself after Judge Turpin took advantage of her.

But when a rival barber, the flamboyant Italian Pirelli (Sacha Baron Cohen), threatens to expose Sweeney's real identity, Todd kills him by cutting his throat. Not knowing what to do with the body, Mrs. Lovett sees this crisis as a potential solution to her ailing business -- and suggests using human flesh as the filling for her pies.

Sweeney discovers that the Judge has turned his amorous affections towards Johanna (Jayne Wisener), Sweeney's now teenaged daughter, who has become Turpin's ward. Imprisoned in his house, Johanna is noticed one day by Anthony (Jamie Campbell Bower), a young sailor who rescued Sweeney from the sea. Hopelessly in love, Anthony vows to rescue Johanna and marry her himself.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Lovett's pies soon become the talk of London, and as business booms, she dreams of respectability and a life at the seaside with Sweeney as her husband and her young charge, Pirelli's former assistant Toby (Edward Sanders), alongside as her adopted son.

But Sweeney has only revenge on his mind -- to the detriment of anyone or anything else.

DreamWorks Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures Present A Parkes/MacDonald Production and A Zanuck Company Production A Tim Burton film, "Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall and Sacha Baron Cohen.

The film is directed by Tim Burton from a screenplay by John Logan, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, based on the Tony Award-winning musical "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler from an adaptation of "Sweeney Todd" by Christopher Bond.

The film's producers are Richard D. Zanuck, Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald and John Logan. The executive producer is Patrick McCormick. The director of photography Dariusz Wolski, ASC. The production designer is Dante Ferretti. The editor is Chris Lebenzon, A.C.E. The costume designer is Colleen Atwood. The co-producer is Katterli Frauenfelder. The music and lyrics are by Stephen Sondheim. This film has been rated R for graphic bloody violence.

“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” Index

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© 2008 Film Entertainment Magazine / EMOL.org. All rights reserved.

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