"Sweeney Todd" with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp

Discussion in 'Movies' started by DavidPla, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. DavidPla

    DavidPla Cinematographer

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  2. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    Interesting. Never seen the show, but just based on my understanding of the basic storyline (barber kills people, neighbour cooks them in pies, or something like that I think) it's definitely material that I can see appealing to Burton. Should be fun.
     
  3. MichaelBA

    MichaelBA Supporting Actor

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    Saw the original in 1979. Angela Landsbury and Len Cariou. It was GREAT.

    Can Depp sing?!
     
  4. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    No no no...Johnny Depp? what happened to Russell Crowe who I believe would be best suited for the role. Burton? all style but can he make a musical?
     
  5. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    The question is actually "Can he make a live-action musical?" since he's already cut his teeth on The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Corpse Bride.
     
  6. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    I got to see a professional production of this show 3 months ago with full orchestra in Minneapolis, and while Sondheim is not very big with me (I prefer the old fashioned musicals from Rodgers and Hammerstein or especially Jerry Herman), I did like this one, very dramatic. I cannot imagine Johnny in this role, it requires major singing talent. Why do they do this to musicals? I do think that Tim Burton making this musical i9n his style is perfect, it will be very moody, which goes with the story. Too bad Angela Lansbury is probably too old, but at least we have the dvd version with her and George Hearn. This will be very interesting. Now if they would only film Miss Saigon and Les Miserables! I think those would be good for today's audience, especially if they liked Chicago.
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I'll be surprised if it actually happens. With the exception of Chicago, recent film versions of hit Broadway musicals haven't done great business (Phantom, Rent, Producers). And I have my doubts about how well the musical numbers will translate to the screen. How do you capture the irony of a romantic ballad like "Pretty Women", which Sweeney sings as a duet with a man whose throat he's about to cut? (And don't get me started on "A Little Priest".)

    As for Johnny Depp, who knows? It's an extravagant role, but so were Captain Jack and Ed Wood. I'd be more concerned about the (adapted) script than the lead.

    There's a decent DVD based on the original Broadway production (with Angela Lansbury and George Hearn, who replaced Len Cariou). And there's about to be a CD of the current Broadway revival with Patty Lupone and Michael Cerveris, which completely reinvents the show and is so good that I'm seeing it a second time.

    M.
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I was reminded of this thread by a report in today's New York Post (by their theater columnist) that Johnny Depp recently took in the current B'way revival of Sweeney and remains interested in playing Sweeney on film.

    http://www.nypost.com/entertainment/64974.htm

    M.
     
  9. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Will it be a complete edition, this time?
     
  10. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Not sure what you mean. The new CD (which has appeared since I wrote that) accurately and completely reflects the current production, but nothing else.

    M.
     
  11. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    I've only heard one production--LuPone/Cerveris. I have the CD set, and it's very nice. However, if there were any songs related to Fogg's asylum, they are not on disc.
     
  12. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Screenwriter

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    I believe the story behind the LuPone/Cerveris disc is that it originally was actually recorded as a "selections" CD, but they found they still had too much material for a single CD so they had to span two discs and didn't think it would work to call it a "Selections from" CD anymore. Unfortunately, the money wasn't there to bring the actors and musicians back in to record the parts of the show that hadn't been recorded so we have what we have now.

    I'm not really sure what's missing, I'm not intimately familiar with the show, I've just watched the Concert DVD (with LuPone) as my only other reference to what's in the show.
     
  13. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    The scene set in Fogg's asylum is entirely spoken. I assume you're referring to "The Wigmaker" and "The Letter", where Sweeney teaches Anthony how to impersonate a wigmaker and then writes a letter to Judge Turpin. This production presents those scenes more as recitations than as songs. They're not included in the program's song listing, and I suspect that's why they're not on the CDs.

    M.
     
  14. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Parlor Songs is also missing. It's difficult to follow the plot if one doesn't read the synopsis, though I suppose that's true of most recordings of musicals, even the "complete" ones.
     
  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    "Parlor Songs" was radically shortened for this production. The only portions that remain are those that are incorporated into the conversation between Mrs. Lovett and the Beadle. I was surprised, when I checked the program just now, to see that it was even listed. So I guess I have to revise my earlier statement to say: "The new CD accurately reflects the current production, except for the omission of the shortened (and a cappella) 'Parlor Songs'".


    That doesn't sound right. Except for the three items I've noted (and possibly one or two reprises of "City on Fire"), everything is on the CD. You wouldn't do that much if you were only planning a "selections" album.

    BTW, the actors are the musicians, on stage and on the album. Somehow I don't think we'll be seeing that in a movie. [​IMG]

    M.
     
  16. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Screenwriter

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    Yeah, I new the musicians were the actors and vice versa, just said "musicians" out of habit. That story was just something I'd heard or read somewhere so I was just relaying a possibility.

    As much as I like Depp though I don't really see him in the part of Sweeney.
     
  17. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    I'd love to see a filmed version of this, but agree that Depp isn't the right actor for Sweeny. I can see Burton as director though. Never seen this on stage, but I've rented both the taped stage production with George Hearn and Angela Lansbury, and the concert version with Hearn and Patti Lapone, and loved both. Strangely, the way I was even introduced to this show was by watching "Jersey Girl", where they do a song from the play for the girls school talent show!

    Brian
     
  18. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I think there has been some movie success with musicals, even lately. The films you list did not do great business. But did Moulin Rouge do OK? I think there are a few other recent films that have done musical versions as well, basically. I'll have to look.
     
  19. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    I only heard the CDs and saw some of a video of the play about 12 or 13 years ago in my 8th grade music class, so my knowledge of it all isn't too good. But from what I remember of it, I think Tim Robbins would be better than Johnny Depp in the role. I'm probably totally off on thinking that.
     
  20. Jan H

    Jan H Cinematographer

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    This is the greatest musical of the last 30 years, and the idea of Burton and Depp being involved is indeed exciting.

    HOWEVER:


    There is no way in hell that Johnny Depp can sing this role. Which means that we well may be subjected to another Marni Nixon/Audrey Hepburn fiasco, where a major star has to let a Broadway pro dub his/her singing, a la My Fair Lady.


    I'm extremely dubious as to how this will play out.
     

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