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Burton Turns Attention to Sweeney Todd

Burton Turns Attention to Sweeney Todd
Source: Variety June 13, 2006

Paramount Pictures has postponed its Tim Burton-directed Ripley's Believe It or Not and Burton will now turn his attention to Sweeney Todd, an adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical developed by DreamWorks Pictures. Johnny Depp is attached to reteam with Burton for "Todd."

Variety says that "Ripley's" had been earmarked for a November start with Jim Carrey as the titular explorer-newspaper columnist. But Paramount has delayed the start of production on that film for at least one year, applying the brakes because of a budget that was north of $150 million and because Carrey and Burton wanted to make significant creative changes.

While "Ripley's" is the second Carrey vehicle to stall in recent weeks (Used Guys was dropped by Fox when its budget came in at $112 million), Paramount says they still want to make the film.

"It's the completely opposite situation," Paramount's co-president of production Brad Weston said. "We intend to make the movie with Tim and Jim, and the fact they are meeting later this week to continue working on the script shows our intent to go forward. We wanted to get to the right place creatively and financially, and through our relationship with DreamWorks, this picture switch was made easy and seamless."

Carrey and Burton had ideas to change the script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski in ways significant enough to require rewrites by those screenwriters and a re-thinking of the f/x budget. The result would change the emphasis from Ripley to some of the wonders he uncovered for his "Believe It or Not" column.

Carrey will likely make another comedy while he, Burton and Paramount continue to work, in hopes they can meet up in China in fall 2007.
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