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Depp’s taking a ‘Bride’

Voice corps formed for stop-motion animated pic

Before he toplines back-to-back “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequels, Johnny Depp will first pull double duty for Tim Burton and Warner Bros.

Already booked to play Willy Wonka in the Burton-directed “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Depp has just made a deal to provide the lead voice in “Corpse Bride,” the stop-motion animated film Burton is co-directing with Michael Johnson and producing with Allison Abbate.

Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Watson, Albert Finney, Richard Grant, Joanna Lumley and Christopher Lee will provide character voices for the latter film, being made in London simultaneously with “Charlie.”

WB will release the Wonka pic July 15, 2005, and “Corpse Bride” in October 2005.

Latter film shares the stop-motion animation technique used in the Burton-produced “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” as well as a similarly charming but macabre setting. In a 19th-century European village, Victor (Depp) travels to the underworld for a quickie wedding to a mysterious corpse bride (Bonham Carter) while his living wife (Watson) pines for his return.

Burton has populated the film with actors who’ve made movies with him in the past. Prior to “Charlie,” Depp starred in “Ed Wood,” “Edward Scissorhands” and “Sleepy Hollow.” Finney made “Big Fish” and Lee “Sleepy Hollow.” Bonham Carter starred in the Burton-directed “Planet of the Apes.”

The film is being scored by Burton’s regular collaborator, Danny Elfman.

“Corpse Bride” was scripted by Caroline Thompson (“Edward Scissorhands”) and Pamela Pettler. Jeffrey Auerbach is exec producing.

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