‘Ripley’ Stalled, Burton on ‘Sweeney Todd’

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Tim Burton was set to direct Jim Carrey in the feature film Ripley’s Believe It or Not, but that film has apparently been placed on the back burner. Burton is not going too far though, as he is still sticking around Paramount Pictures to direct Sweeney Todd, a feature adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical developed by DreamWorks.

The move is also rumored to be reuniting Burton with Johnny Depp.

Paramount’s move to stall the production of Ripley’s was apparently due to budget issues as the film was looking to cost north of $150 million. The picture would have featured Jim Carrey as Ripley at the time when he gained celebrity status through a “Believe It or Not” column that chronicled his search for the greatest oddities in the world. Along the way, he starts to respect his unusual human discoveries as more than mere conquests to be documented.

The movie is not dead however, simply delayed for about a year as Burton and Carrey still have planned meetings to work out the script.

As for Todd, it is based on the Broadway show of the same name centering on Benjamin Barker (a.k.a. ‘Sweeney Todd’) as he arrives in London hell bent on revenge as he was sent away to Botany Bay for life on a trumped-up charge brought upon him by a Judge and his Beadle. Barker sets up a barbershop and along with the help of bakeshop owner Mrs. Nellie Lovett he plans his revenge. The blood flows as customers begin to die and Mrs. Lovett begins to make the best meat pies that London has ever tasted.

Depp would play the vengeful Barker as his scheduled recently freed up as his other project Shantaram hit the skids when director Peter Weir left the production only a day ago.