Johnny Depp and Tim Burton’s Strangest Movie Gets Huge Surprise Release

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Johnny Depp singing in Sweeney Todd

Credit: Dreamworks

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton are back: their strangest and most ignored movie is finally getting a new release worthy of it.

Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter standing in crowd in Sweeney Todd
Credit: Dreamworks

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton have been connected in the public eye since their very first collaboration, the gothic fantasy movie Edward Scissorhands (1990). Since then, the pair have made eight feature films together, ranging from the critically acclaimed biopic Ed Wood (1994) to the grim mystery Sleepy Hollow (1999) to the massively popular Alice in Wonderland (2010).

The duo has not worked together since the critical and commercial flop Dark Shadows (2012), which unsuccessfully attempted to adapt the cult 1970s vampire show for the big screen, though there have been heavy rumors that Johnny Depp will appear in some form in the upcoming Beetlejuice 2 alongside Michael Keaton, Jenna Ortega, and Winona Ryder.

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams
Credit: Netflix

Related: Johnny Depp Confirms New Movie, Proving Himself to Disney

In the meantime, at least, Johnny Depp-Tim Burton fans will get a taste of the pair’s past with a massive new release of their underrated, gory musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007).

Sweeney Todd is an adaptation of legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim’s musical of the same name, itself based on a play by Christopher Bond. The character of Sweeney Todd himself has existed since the mid-19th century when he first appeared as a murderous barber in melodramatic serial pamphlets known as “penny dreadful.” He may even have some basis in historical fact, but at this point, it is impossible to tell.

What is known is that the Stephen Sondheim musical is widely considered one of the greatest musicals of all time, winning countless awards and inspiring numerous revivals, including a currently running Broadway production starring Josh Groban, Annaleigh Ashford, and Gaten Matarazzo of Stranger Things.

Johnny Depp preparing to shave Alan Rickman in Sweeney Todd
Credit: Dreamworks

The Tim Burton film version of the story stars Johnny Depp as the hollow-eyed, ghostly pale Sweeney Todd as he returns to London after 15 years of unjust exile by Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) with vengeance on his mind.

Todd quickly re-establishes himself as a barber of note in a hideous, shadowy version of the city, teaming up with Mrs Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter), the baker of the “worst pies in London,” to exact revenge on those who have wronged him. The film also stars Sacha Baron Cohen, Timothy Spall, and Jamie Campbell Bower.

Timothy Spall as The Beedle in Sweeney Todd
Credit: Warner Bros.

The marketing campaign for Sweeney Todd notoriously concealed that it was a musical. This led to bemused audiences wondering why Johnny Depp was singing through a series of enormously grisly murders and shocking betrayals and unquestionably led to a relatively poor box office performance for the Pirates of the Caribbean actor at the time.

Related: ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ Director Says Tim Burton Won’t Agree to a Sequel

Although it was critically well-received, Sweeney Todd was quickly forgotten and has become something of a footnote in the career of director Tim Burton.

Now, the film may finally get the exposure it deserves with a huge new release in 4K Ultra HD, a first for Sweeney Todd (per Bloody Disgusting). It is being released as part of the Paramount Scares: Volume 1 limited collection, along with Rosemary’s Baby (1968), Pet Sematary (1989), Crawl (2019), and Smile (2022).

In addition to the 4K remastering, the new Sweeney Todd release will include features like:

  • Behind the Scenes Look
  • Press Conference
  • The Real History of the Demon Barber
  • Musical Mayhem
  • Sweeney’s London
  • The Making of Sweeney Todd
  • Grand Guignol
  • Designs for a Demon Barber
  • A Bloody Business
  • Moviefone Unscripted with Burton and Depp
  • The Razor’s Refrain
  • Photo Gallery

For too long, Sweeney Todd has been a bizarre footnote in the career of both Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. It’s high time it got what it deserves.

Have you seen Sweeney Todd? Would you agree his skin was pale and his eye was odd? Tell us your favorite Depp-Burton collaboration below!

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