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Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd Butchered by Studio Execs?!

by
August 27, 2007
Source: SlashFilm

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.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

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  • Sweeney Fan
    Consider the source....The Daily Mail. Can you say TABLOID? Not the most reliable source. Also Mr. Salisbury who is putting together a book to accompany the film has commented on his blog that the story is not true. I'm sure he is a reliable source. "Incidentally, all those reports of Burton being asked to cut back on the blood in the movie, don't believe a word of them." Expect the first footage from Sweeney Todd to premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 5. It's Tim Burton Day and he will be honored with a Golden Lion. I'm sure once it has been shown there it will then find it's way to the internet.
  • Heckle
    Don't cut a second of it i hope. Want to see Burton's vision not the studio's. If they want to make the movie they can make it however they want. Let the director be.
  • tiny
    With all the cut's being made, I hope Tim decides to do a directors cut version of the movie as well!!
  • Ryan
    yes, I have heard that this is 100% untrue. Like Sweeny Fan said. However according to IMDB news is that they are ecstatic about it, and that they are going right for a wide release (1500+, presumably expanding it) instead of platforming it.
  • Phil
    I certainly hope this isn't true. On the heels of the news that Focus Features is standing behind Ang Lee's new film (which is being threatened with an NC-17 rating by the MPAA), I'd hope WB and DW would stand behind Burton and allow his original vision of the film to grace the screen. Enough with all the censorship. Let the art be what it's intended to be.
  • ooo
    hiiiiiiii hiiiiiiiiii. kooool mooooviiiieee!! wattt doo u thinnnkkk???
  • heyhey
    omg. "ooo", ur sooooo smart. the comment u wrote (number 6) was really something. it was so touching. your my hero. i love you.

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