There's a hole in the world like a great black pit, and it's filled with people who are filled with shit and the vermin of the world inhabit it.
~ Sweeney Todd

Sweeney Todd is the tragic villain protagonist of the 1979 musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and the 2007 Tim Burton film of the same name. He was portrayed in the film by Johnny Depp, who also played Gellert Grindelwald and The Wolf.


Sweeney Todd's story begins in Victorian London. His given name is Benjamin Barker and he lives with his wife Lucy and infant daughter Johanna. A local judge by the name of Turpin lusts for Barker's wife, and has him arrested on a false charge and send him away to Australia, then a British penal colony. Turpin invites Lucy to a formal party at his manor under the pretense of freeing Barker, but instead he overpowers and rapes her. Lucy, filled with grief, poisons herself with arsenic, and subsequently goes insane. Turpin adopts Johanna as his ward.

Fifteen years later, Todd manages to return to London with the help of Anthony Hope, a merchant sailor. He rents a room from his former landlady, Mrs. Lovett, and opens a barbershop while biding his time to get revenge on Judge Turpin.

When Todd bests a con man named Adolfo Pirelli in a public display of shaving skill, Pirelli reveals that he is in fact Davy Collins, Todd's former assistant, and blackmails him. Todd kills Pirelli and hides his corpse in a trunk. Todd and Mrs. Lovett take in an orphan named Tobias Ragg, who had been Pirelli's assistant.

Just then, Turpin comes in for a shave, wanting to look his best so as to marry Johanna. Just as Todd is about to slit the judge's throat, Anthony enters the shop announcing that he and Johanna are in love. An enraged Turpin leaves, ruining Todd's chance for revenge. Enraged, Todd vows to kill as many people as he can while waiting for another chance to kill Turpin, reasoning that he would be punishing the wicked and putting everyone else out of their misery. Mrs. Lovett, who owns an unsuccessful pie shop, gets the idea to bake the remains of Todd's victims into meat pies. Their plan is a success; Todd takes out his rage on dozens of customers, and Mrs. Lovett's pie shop becomes wildly successful selling pies secretly made of human flesh.

In the story's climax, Todd lures the Judge back to his barber shop under the pretense of having persuaded Johanna to marry him. A beggar woman comes into the shop, and Todd kills her to keep her from getting in the way. He offers Turpin a free shave, reveals his true identity, and stabs Turpin to death, finally getting his revenge.

When he goes to the bakehouse to help Mrs. Lovett dispose of the bodies, he discovers the beggar woman is actually Lucy. when he confronts Mrs. Lovett, she admits that she let him think Lucy was dead so they could be together. Todd pretends to forgive her, then waltzes Lovett over towards her large pie oven, where he throws her into the fire. Tobias, who had come to love Mrs. Lovett like a mother, comes up from behind a resigned Todd and slits his throat, leaving Todd to bleed to death over his wife's corpse.