"We're not going to skimp on the blood," insisted Tim Burton when TF (Total film) caught up with him as Sweeney Todd. His adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's hit horror musical, was ready to roll. "I've seen productions that try to be politically correct..." He trails off in disbelief, "We're talking about a serial killer and cannibalism. Soften it up and it just doesn't work." Burton's penchant for Victorian gothery means that Sweeney's barbershop - where customers receive a deathly close shave and end up as pie fillings for Mrs Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) is like a second home to him, especially with regular cohort Depp in the gaff.
"Tim took a risk when he asked me to play Sweeney because neither he nor I knew if I could sing" says Depp, who is giving his pipes a live action debut. "My singing's not unlike the mating call of a rutting stag. It's a strange sound, but I haven't been fired yet."
"Johnny's fun," says Burton."It's always different and that's much more exciting than someone who does the same thing every time. He always wants to sort of become a character."
"So - just to clarify - will there be blood?"
"There will be blood and music... and pies."