Paramount fast-tracks SWEENEY TODD, with Tim Burton directing . . . and possibly Johnny Depp to star

Paramount’s DreamWorks division is fast-tracking a feature film of SWEENEY TODD, and has named Tim Burton to direct. Tim has some time free because Paramount has sent the film he was working on, RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT (scheduled to star Jim Carrey), back into development to trim its ballooning budget. Variety and the Hollywood Reporter both confirm that DreamWorks will now focus on assembling and casting SWEENEY TODD, which is being adapted by John Logan (THE AVIATOR) from Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical. According to sources at Paramount, Tim Burton already is talking with actor Johnny Depp about taking the lead role in the feature film version as the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Johnny has some time in his schedule, since Peter Weir’s departure from SHANTARAM has postponed that project until next spring.

The Zone thanks sandstorm, DeepinDepp, and emma for contributing news stories about SWEENEY TODD. You can read the full Variety and Hollywood Reporter articles on the News & Views forum.