Dear Warner Brothers,
There is a rumor circulating that you’re planning to trim your eagerly anticipated fall release, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”, so that it may recieve a PG-13 rating. As you plan to release this lavish, gothic musical around Thanksgiving and want to reach the widest audience possible, it is understandable that you plan to edit down some of the gorier moments of this Tim Burton-directed film.
Yet, it must be said that one of the reasons I and so many like myself can’t wait to see this film is because it is an R-rated, darkly funny and grisly adaptation of the beloved musical. Truly, there won’t be anything else out there like it this holiday season and something like this will not only stand out but find it’s distinct audience. Unlike, say, “Beowolf”, which will likely prove to be too scary for children and not an obvious draw for adults, “Sweeney Todd” already HAS an audience ready to embrace it! The same teens who made the violent “300” a $200 million dollar hit, the same adults who have followed Burton’s career since ’85, the same audience members who flocked to “Hairspray” and “Dreamgirls”, and Johnny Depp’s considerable fan base (not to mention attendees attracted by the curiosity factor alone) will all be there opening night and will likely return throughout the holiday season.