Big Stars Join Burton’s Corpse Bride

It was announced today that several Tim Burton regulars have come aboard the director/producer’s latest animated feature project. The Corpse Bride will feature the voices of Oscar nominated actors Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Sleepy Hollow), Helena Bonham Carter (Big Fish, Planet of the Apes), Emily Watson (Punch-Drunk Love, Equilibrium) and Albert Finney (Big Fish, Traffic). Burton is also calling on favorites Joanna Lumley (James and the Giant Peach, TV’s Absolutely Fabulous) and Christopher Lee (Sleepy Hollow, Lord of the Rings trilogy, Star Wars: Episodes II and III).

Corpse Bride is based on a 19th century Eastern European folk tale. Depp will provide the voice of Victor, a young man who is whisked away to the underworld and wed to a mysterious Corpse Bride (Bonham-Carter), while his real bride, Victoria (Watson), waits bereft in the land of the living. Though life in the Land of the Dead proves to be a lot more colorful than his strict Victorian upbringing, Victor learns that there is nothing in this world, or the next, that can keep him away from his one true love. Warner Bros. describes the film as a tale of optimism, romance and a very lively afterlife, told in classic Tim Burton style.

Warner Bros. is currently in production in London. In the tradition of the Burton-produced favorites The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach, Corpse Bride will be animated with stop-motion by Vinton Studios. This will be the first feature-length project for Vinton, best known for its work on the California Raisin ad campaign and the Fox primetime series The PJs.

The production reunites several members of The Nightmare Before Christmas crew, including director of photography Pete Kozachik and Michael Johnson, who makes his directorial debut alongside co-director Burton.

Corpse Bride is produced by Burton and Allison Abbate, and executive produced by Jeffrey Auerbach. Caroline Thompson and Pamela Pettler penned the script and the score will be composed by Danny Elfman (Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2). The film is scheduled for release in October 2005 by Warner Bros. Pictures.