Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (also known simply as Sweeney Todd) is a 2007 musical slasher film directed by Tim Burton and an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Tony Award-winning 1979 musical of the same name.
The film retells the Victorian melodramatic tale of Sweeney Todd, an English barber and serial killer who murders his customers with a straight razor and, with the help of his accomplice, Mrs. Lovett, processes their corpses into meat pies. The film stars Johnny Depp as the title character and Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett.
Having been struck by the cinematic qualities of Sondheim's musical while still a student, Burton had entertained the notion of a film version since the early 1980s. However, it was not until 2006 that he had the opportunity to realize this ambition, when DreamWorks announced his appointment as replacement for director Sam Mendes, who had been working on such an adaptation. Sondheim, although not directly involved, was extensively consulted during production and especially as the composer of the film instead of Danny Elfman. Depp, not known for his singing, took lessons in preparation for his role, which producer Richard D. Zanuck acknowledged was something of a gamble.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street was released in the United States on December 21, 2007 and in the United Kingdom on January 25, 2008. Grossing over $150 million worldwide, the film was praised for the performances of the cast, musical numbers, costume and set design, and its faithfulness to the 1979 musical. It was chosen by National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2007 and won numerous awards, including Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture ? Musical or Comedy and Best Actor ? Musical or Comedy, as well as the Academy Award for Best Art Direction. Bonham Carter was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress ? Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, and Depp received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Although the film was not an outstanding financial success in North America, it performed well worldwide, and produced a soundtrack album and DVD releases.