Verdict is in: Rickman to judge 'Todd'

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Alan Rickman has signed on for Tim Burton's ensemble musical "Sweeney Todd," a DreamWorks Studios and Warner Bros. Pictures co-production.

Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen already have boarded the project, based on the macabre Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical. Rickman, no stranger to the stage, has been nominated for two Tonys and is a U.K. theater veteran. He will play Judge Turpin in the film, scheduled to begin production next month in London.

The film centers on Benjamin Barker (Depp), a man unjustly imprisoned by a lecherous judge (Rickman). Barker returns as barber Sweeney Todd and exacts revenge. John Logan penned the big-screen adaptation.

Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald, Richard D. Zanuck and Logan are producing.

Paramount Pictures will distribute for DreamWorks domestically, and Warners will distribute internationally.

Rickman, whose credits include "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" and the "Harry Potter" films, recently wrapped "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

He is repped by Endeavor and ICM London.
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