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It's hard out there for a studio exec. One day, you're innocently blowing your nose into the pages of unmade scripts stained with the hopes and dreams of anonymous writers, and screaming at your assistant to just please get someone to make you a fat-free Big Mac; the next, you're rudely confronted with the fact that the movie you greenlit about a murderous barber making mincemeat of his clients actually focuses on a murderous barber making mincemeat of his clients:

TIM Burton has been told to tone down the gore in the screen version of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," starring Johnny Depp. The suits at Warner Bros. "became a tad squeamish when they viewed grisly footage of blood splashing across the set as Depp slits the throats of his customers," London's Daily Mail reports.

In another scene that has the studio on edge, a 10-year-old boy feeds human body parts into a meat grinder to make meat pies. The movie, co-starring Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen, opens in December.

We feel their pain. If only they had the handy guideline of a script, or a successful stage run of the musical on which the movie is based, to help them understand what might be coming. Still, this could be the birth of a new era of creative revisionism; as soon as Les Miserables is officially deemed "too French, too depressing, and too much fighting," we can look forward to a movie-musical adaptation of it that tells the story of a Beverly Hills girl who's upset that she can't get the newest Sidekick, and the Silver Lake boy who fights to get her one.