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Jim Broadbent to Star with Depp in Sweeney Todd Film?

Jim Broadbent--who was previously rimoured to play Wilbur in the upcoming Hairspray but whose role in that film will instead be portrayed by Christopher Walken--may have signed on to the cast of Tim Burton's upcoming Sweeney Todd film.

According to MSN Movies' "Hollywood Hitlist," Broadbent's has been cast in Sweeney Todd, which will be directed by Burton and star Johnny Depp.  Slated for a late 2007 release, the DreamWorks film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler work will reunite the director and star who have previously collaborated on films such as Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Although MSN doesn't mention a particular role, Broadbent would presumably be cast as Judge Turpin in the film version of Sweeney, which spins the macabre tale of a revenge-obsessed demon barber and his assistant, who turns his victims into the worst pies in London.  New Line Cinema's Hairspray film--directed by Adam Shankman and featuring a starry cast led by John Travolta, Walken, Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah and Amanda Bynes--is aiming for a July 2007 release, not putting it in direct competition with the Sweeney film.

The British Broadbent won an Oscar for his performance in Iris, and his many film credits also include The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Vanity Fair, Nicholas Nickleby, Gangs of New York, Moulin Rouge, the Bridget Jones' Diary films, Topsy-Turvy, Little Voice, Bullets Over Broadway and The Crying Game.  He is also a stage veteran who has been seen in plays for the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, among others.

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