It's a shame. Christopher Lee has been axed out of Tim Burton's upcoming musical Sweeney Todd. According to Playbill, so have a number of other characters. Oh, well. At least Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are still in it.

It was DreamWorks that confirmed Lee's "Gentleman Ghost" was removed from the film. The character had been raising some eyebrows, since the ghost does not appear anywhere in the stage version of the story.

Lee explained, "It would have been worse if I had done the scenes, but I never got to film them. It's a shame as the lyrics were wonderful, but these things happen."

Sweeney Todd will open this Christmas in limited release. It goes wide on January 11th.

B. Alan Orange