BREAKING NEWS–Alan Rickman to join Johnny Depp in SWEENEY TODD!

A spectacularly apt bit of casting news: Alan Rickman has joined the cast of Tim Burton’s version of Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical SWEENEY TODD, which begins shooting in the UK in February. Rickman–well-known to audiences all over the world as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films–will play Judge Turpin, the nemesis of Johnny Depp’s character Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street. Jeremy Kay of SCREEN DAILY describes Turpin as “a sinister creature who frames Todd and steals his wife before meeting his untimely demise in Todd’s barber’s chair.” Rickman has a plenty of experience playing sinister characters–he was the mastermind behind the crime in the original DIE HARD, as well as the Sheriff of Nottingham in ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES. He also delivered a charming romantic performance as the Colonel who eventually wins Kate Winslet in SENSE AND SENSIBILITY. We look forward to seeing him in SWEENEY TODD!

Thanks very much to emma for publishing the story, and to lizbet who heard Mr. Rickman discussing his role in SWEENEY TODD on a talk show last weekend and shared her scoop with us on the forums. You can read more about it on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

"A genuine treasure"–PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST is the #1 DVD of the holiday season

The news couldn’t be better for the cast and crew of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST–and their home studio, Walt Disney Pictures, must be very happy, too. DEAD MAN’S CHEST sold nearly 5 million DVDs on its first day of release, and is on track to become, not just the best-selling DVD of the year, but the best-selling live-action DVD of all time.

Celebrating the extraordinary success of DEAD MAN’S CHEST, Bob Chapek, president of Buena Vista Worldwide Home Entertainment, told the press, “We could not be more thrilled with the incredible success of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST. This franchise is a genuine treasure for us. [. . .] Consumers have an insatiable appetite for all things PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN.”

The Zone thanks Theresa for sharing the news; you can read the full press release on the News & Views forum.