Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd Butchered by Studio Execs?!
One of the most anticipated upcoming films this winter is Tim Burton's dark musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street starring Johnny Depp. There hasn't been a trailer, there hasn't been hardly anything so far except a lone image and poster. Well the latest news today comes from SlashFilm, who has discovered that the studio executives are asking him to "butcher" his own film from a natural R-rating down to PG-13.
SlashFilm reports news from The Daily Mail in the UK that the early footage was "so extremely bloody that the studio executives have become a tad squeamish and are requesting the film to be re-cut." Apparently an insider sent some news to The Daily Mail that Tim Burton is not pleased that the studio is asking for so many cuts.
"Tim's not happy that the studio is asking for so many cuts to the cutting, as it were. The thing is, the studio really likes the film and they want to make it accessible to as big an audience as possible - which means stemming the blood flow. But that's a bit difficult for a story involving a guy who gets high slitting throats."
The film, which is based off of a Broadway musical, focus on the character of Sweeney Todd (played by Johnny Depp) who butchers victims in his barber shop chairs by slitting their throats. They're then sent down a chute via a trap door in the floor to the lair of Todd's mistress, Mrs. Lovett (played by Helena Bonham Carter ), who uses the dead bodies to make meat pies. SlashFilm describes one scene that was said to really bother the studio execs: a "ten-year-old boy cutting up body parts, which were then thrown into a meat grinder and turned into mince."
With the advent of filmmakers pushing to keep the films the way the want them, including Ang Lee's Lust, Caution making the biggest news recently, I'm really hoping the talented Burton can push to keep this the way he intended it to be. It will be a sad day if the filmmaker loses this battle, especially with this film and with someone as talented as Burton.