Sondheim Dubious of Depp for Sweeney Todd???
Date: 14 August 2006
As a firm favourite of Tim Burton, Johnny Depp’s usually a shoo-in for lead roles in his films - who can forget such collaborations as Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Sleepy Hollow. But now the Hollywood director and his star have hit a stumbling block as the actor has come up against one of the biggest names in theatre – Stephen Sondheim. According to the Sunday Times, Burton’s plans to make a film version of Sondheim’s 1980 musical Sweeney Todd, in which he wants Depp to play the demon barber of Fleet Street, have been stalled by the American composer/lyricist’s request to have Depp take a more challenging voice test. Sondheim won’t permit any miming so, until he’s convinced by Depp’s voice, he’s withholding his approval for the film. Producers are said to have found copies of Depp singing with his 1980s rock band, quite a contrast to the almost operatic nature of the show. Before Burton came on board, former Donmar artistic director Sam Mendes was due to direct; he’ll now act as a producer instead.
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