29 August 2007

"Freely Flows the Blood of Those Who Moralize"

Too much blood?! What planet do Warner Bros. execs come from? (Planet of the Apes, clearly.) The New York Post reports:
Tim Burton has been told to tone down the gore in the screen version of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," starring Johnny Depp. The suits at Warner Bros. "became a tad squeamish when they viewed grisly footage of blood splashing across the set as Depp slits the throats of his customers," London's Daily Mail reports. In another scene that has the studio on edge, a 10-year-old boy feeds human body parts into a meat grinder to make meat pies. The movie, co-starring Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen, opens in December.
Sweeney Todd is all about the blood -- it's grand guignol operetta! Blood and music, baby!

I'm certainly not the only person curious to see how the various actors handle the singing, particularly Sacha Baron Cohen as Pirelli. In terms of acting, a lot of the casting seems perfect and brilliant, but ... I've seen badly-sung productions of Sweeney Todd and they're exquisitely painful in all the wrong ways. I adore Sondheim, and Sweeney Todd in particular, but it's tough stuff, and the show is almost entirely sung.

But I shall reserve judgment, because Tim Burton has often surprised me in good ways, and Sondheim has given it all his blessing (so far), making this the upcoming movie I most look forward to seeing.