Movie Flashback: 5 Years Ago Johnny Depp Proved He Could Carry a Tune in This Dark Musical
12.21.12 by Chris
I can guarantee the closest shave you'll ever know.
You know you're in for a crazy and interesting ride when Johnny Depp and Tim Burton pair up (Dark Shadows aside) and that's exactly what we got in this razor-sharp musical.
In their sixth collaboration, Depp and Burton gave us Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, based on Hugh Wheeler's Tony Award-winning 1979 musical. It's the story of an English barber who moonlights as a serial killer and uses his straight razor to kill his victims.
Burton had wanted to make a movie adaptation since he saw the play in London in 1980. Burton loved the play so much he saw it over and over.
I was still a student, I didn't know if I would be making movies or working in a restaurant, I had no idea what I would be doing. I just wandered into the theatre and it just blew me away because I'd never really seen anything that had the mixture of all those elements. I actually went three nights in a row because I loved it so much.
He wouldn't get his chance until he replaced director Sam Mendes, who had been working on an adaptation at DreamWorks. Once Burton got his hands on the project, he brought in his usual cast — including Depp and his partner Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Todd's accomplice, Mrs. Lovett. The movie was so risky in the eyes of Hollywood that it actually took three studios — Warner Bros., DreamWorks and Paramount — to agree to pick up the movie's production costs
Depp, not known for his singing (though he's in a rock band), was praised for his performance. The New York Times described his voice as "harsh and thin, but amazingly forceful."
The movie won Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) at the Golden Globes and Depp won for Best Actor (Musical or Comedy). The movie was nominated for three Oscars, including Depp for Best Actor. And while not a monster success, the movie did earn $153 million worldwide on a $50 million budget. Hey, at least it was better than Dark Shadows.
Where to watch it: Sweeney Todd is available on DVD and Blu-ray and on Amazon, iTunes, and Vudu.