Monty Python reuniting for 'Absolutely Anything'

Terry Jones to direct, Cleese, Palin, Gilliam set star in film about group of aliens who grant unlimited powers to human.

By REUTERS
January 30, 2012 14:09
2 minute read.
Original cast of the Monty Python troupe

Original cast of Monty Python 390. (photo credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

LOS ANGELES - There may be a little more life in Brian, after all.

Monty Python-ers John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones are reuniting for the science-fiction comedy Absolutely Anything, TheWrap has confirmed.

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Eric Idle, the other surviving member of the Flying Circus, may join the project as well, producer Mike Medavoy told TheWrap.

Graham Chapman, the other member of the troupe, died in 1989.

Jones will direct the film, with Cleese, Palin and Gilliam playing aliens and possibly several other additional roles, in true Python tradition.

In addition, Robin Williams is in talks to play a dog and a pompous Frenchman, Medavoy said.

But those expecting a follow-up to The Holy Grail, be warned.

"It's not a Python film," Jones told TheWrap. "It's a different thing. It's not really that we're all getting back together."

The movie centers on a group of aliens who grant unlimited powers to a human being. Unable to handle his new-found abilities and apparently ignoring the sage advice of his talking dog, the earthling causes chaos.

"The film looks at the whole notion how funny unintended consequences can be," producer Chris Chesser told TheWrap. "It's the whole thing about the genie granting three wishes."

Although its is not a true Monty Python reunion, the film's producers describe its humor as "Pythonesque" -- a term Jones himself disagrees with.

"I don't know what it means," Jones said. "When we were doing Python, we tried to avoid any kind of style. We kept doing different things all the time, so people couldn't say what it was they were looking at. The fact that 'Pythonesque' is a word in the dictionary, is the gravestone to all of the goals that we were hoping to achieve."

The film is expected to start shooting in the United Kingdom this summer on a budget of between $15 to $20 million.

For Medavoy, the chairman of Phoenix Pictures, the film is a chance to work with some of his favorite comedians.

"Life of Brian was one of the funniest movies I was ever involved with," he said. "I put it up there with Arthur and Caddyshack."

Since their final film, 1983's The Meaning of Life, the surviving Python members have appeared together at the 1998 Aspen Comedy Festival. Jones also directed Idle, Palin and Cleese in 1996's The Wind in the Willows.

In addition to Chesser and Medavoy, David Thwaites and Bill and Ben Productions will produce the film.

Variety first reported on the casting of Palin, Cleese, Jones, Gilliam and Idle.


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