Carter Lands Killer 'Sweeney Todd' Role

Tim Burton has cast Helena Bonham Carter as the female lead in his big screen version of the musical "Sweeney Todd."

Carter, who just happens to be Burton's wife and frequent collaborator, will fill Angela Lansbury's esteemed shoes as Mrs. Lovett in the DreamWorks and Warner Bros. co-production.

For those unfamiliar with the classic Stephen Sondheim musical, Mrs. Lovett is the murderous friend and accomplice of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Johnny Depp) best known for baking corpses into delicious meat pies. The industry trade paper notes that that Mrs. Lovett has traditionally been older than the Demon Barber, which presumably won't be the case with the 40-year-old Carter and the 43-year-old Depp.

Depp and Carter are the only confirmed members of the "Sweeney Todd" cast, though there have been rampant rumors that "Borat" leading man Sacha Baron Cohen might play Signor Adolfo Pirelli, the Demon Barber's hair-cutting rival.

Burton will begin production on "Sweeney Todd" early next year, with a late 2007 release date in the tentative plans.

Carter just completed a small role in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." An Oscar nominee for "Wings of the Dove," her credits with Burton include "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Big Fish" and "Planet of the Apes."