When Tim Burton casts a movie, the whole of Hollywood holds its breath with a mixture of excitement and fear, before realising that Tim's bailed out and just cast Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter as usual.
The newest Tim Burton movie out of the blocks is his version of the musical Sweeney Todd. Tim Burton surprised nobody recently when he decided to cast Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd himself, but his latest casting decision is bound to leave people momentarily paralysed with shock – it's… Helena Bonham Carter. We know – this news is going to take some getting over. Oh, and hey, Borat's going to be in it too.
Tim Burton movies aren't quite the event that they once were. As the director of Edward Scissorhands, Beetle Juice and Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Burton's legacy is safe, although he hasn't half tried pissing it up against a wall this century – Burton tried (and failed) to make an action movie with Planet Of The Apes, he tried (and failed) to make a slow-paced grown-up movie with Big Fish, and he tried (and almost failed) to shamelessly go back to what he did best with Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. But the next Tim Burton movie will be Sweeney Todd, and that looks like a far more interesting proposition.
Based on Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 stage musical version of the traditional story of a hairdresser who slashes his customers' throats and bakes them into pies, Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd will star Johnny Depp – who's been in Tim Burton movies The Corpse Bride, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Sleepy Hollow, Ed Wood and Edward Scissorhands. Depp will be using all the musical skills he gained playing on rubbish Oasis albums and singing sea shanties for his pirate films to take the lead role. However, Tim Burton needed to cast some other roles for Sweeney Todd – like the role played by wrinkly-since-birth Murder She Wrote star Angela Lansbury in the Sondheim musical.
That role, as if you needed telling, has gone to Helena Bonham Carter – who's been in Tim Burton movies Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, The Corpse Bride, Big Fish and Planet Of The Apes. Just as soon as Helena Bonham Carter has stopped being the baddie in the new Harry Potter film, she'll take the part of Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd. And, just to mix things up, it's been rumoured that Sacha Baron Cohen, fresh from annoying George Bush and all of Kazakhstan as Borat, could be playing Sweeney Todd's rival Signor Adolfi Pirelli.
Sacha Baron Cohen has never been in any Tim Burton movies before, marking the first time that an actor has ever starred in a Tim Burton movie without being in a Tim Burton movie before. Ever.
[story by Stuart Heritage]