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Christmastime for "Sweeney Todd"


Tim Burton's film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's stage musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street will be opening wide on an estimated 1,500 theaters on December 21st. Paramount/Dreamworks SKG had originally planned for a limited release on that day (likely to make the film eligible for a 2007 Oscar) and then to release to more theaters on January 11th. This plan has apparently been rethought after executives, upon seeing clips of the film, realized it had a much broader appeal. The film is anticipated to receive an R-rating, although international distributor Warner Bros. may be asking for cuts to the foreign version (in order to secure a "15" in England, where the R-equivalent "18" means that no-one under 18 will be admitted).

Sweeney follows barber Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp), who returns to London after being wrongly imprisoned for 15 years, only to discover that he has lost his wife and daughter to the machinations of the corrupt judge (Alan Rickman) who sent him away in the first place. Barker changes his name to Sweeney Todd and reclaims his old barber shop. With the help of meat pie manufacturer Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter), he begins a campaign of revenge that soon spreads to the whole of London.

Additional information for this story comes from The Daily Mail.