Tim Burton on Sweeney Todd:
Okay, at first I thought, Sweeney Todd kinda sucks, doesn't it? I mean Sondheim has certainly done better. Who wants to take a musical with kind of lame music but a few decent numbers and make a movie of it? But then I thought, whoa, wait! It's so quirky! I have to make it, don't I? I mean, shit, I'm Tim Burton. And I'll be damned if I'm gonna let f--king Terry Gilliam do this one.
It doesn't matter that everyone knows the plot, or that it's entirely set inside of two rooms -- we can fix that by showing shots of the London skyline during every song!
And why bother getting anyone who can actually sing? It's not like Americans know the difference, anyway. Johnny Depp is always great, right? RIGHT? Thank you. I'm sure he can do a cheap accent and sing at the same time. (It worked for Dick van Dyke.) Hell, if you asked Johnny to play a one-legged German horse trainer with a lisp, he could pull it off.
And if I'm gonna have two leads in clownish goth makeup, the other one's gotta be my girl Helena, right? I mean, seriously, who else am I supposed to get?
Now for a creepy villain, we just gotta have Alan Rickman. Sure, he can't sing for shit, but neither can anybody else in this cast, and he's just sooo good. Remember Die Hard? And Harry Potter? Everybody loves to hate ol' Alan. Yes, I know Walken can sing and dance, but Rickman's got more cache.
Henchman, henchman ... Oh, I know! That guy who plays nothing but henchmen in every movie! You know, the guy who was Wormtail in Harry Potter, and the henchman in Enchanted? Yeah, Timothy Spall. He'll be great as a henchman. Can he sing? I don't know. Who the hell cares?
Eccentric guy faking a ridiculous ethnic accent ... hmm. That's a tough one. Let's do something really off-beat. I know! Sacha Baron Cohen! Yeah, the Borat guy! I've never seen him do a crazy ethnic stereotype! Holy crap, he can actually sing better than Johnny ... well, let's make sure we cast him in a part with only one song. We don't want to make Johnny look bad.
Now, if I make it really violent -- I mean, blood spurting out of every throat in the goddamn film violent -- that will be way more effective than just suggesting the violence. In fact, screw it, I'm going to spray blood right on the camera lens to let people know how much blood is in this movie. No, it's not gratuitous, you cretin, it's "exuberant!"
Oh, and let's cover everything with soot, so we get a kinda Les Miserables vibe going.
So, let's see:
- Johnny Depp? Check.
- Quirky? I f--king invented quirky. Check.
- British actors as villains? Check.
- Non-singers singing? Check.
- Artistic gore, so that people who don't like it will come off as squeamish? Check.