BREAKING NEWS–Helena Bonham Carter wins the role of Mrs. Lovett in SWEENEY TODD

Variety reports that Helena Bonham Carter has won the coveted role of Mrs. Lovett in Tim Burton’s upcoming film of Stephen Sondheim’s musical SWEENEY TODD. The casting is hardly a surprise to Burton fans, who know that the director has a repertory company of favorite actors whom he enjoys working with and casts whenever possible. Both Johnny Depp, who will appear as Sweeney Todd (his 6th Tim Burton film), and Helena Bonham Carter (CORPSE BRIDE, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, BIG FISH, PLANET OF THE APES) have worked regularly in Burton films.

The role of Mrs. Lovett, created on Broadway by the great Angela Lansbury, is a challenging one–as Variety reports, she is a murderess who “dispenses her victims’ bodies in meat pies and becomes the amorous accomplice of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” Generally Mrs. Lovett is cast to appear a decade or so older than Sweeney Todd, which would not be the case with Burton’s duo, as Helena is actually a couple of years younger than Johnny (although, not unlike Johnny, she has always been willing to alter her appearance to better serve the character–see her aged witch in BIG FISH). Ms. Bonham Carter will do her own singing in the film, as she did in CORPSE BRIDE.

In other SWEENEY TODD casting news, Sacha Baron Cohen (BORAT, TALLADEGA NIGHTS, MADAGASCAR) is reportedly under consideration for the role of rival barber Signor Adolfo Pirelli, but the studio has not confirmed Cohen’s signing, so that remains a rumor.

The Zone thanks emma for the casting update, and congratulates Ms. Bonham Carter on her newest role.