Monty Python crew reuniting for sci-fi comedy ‘Absolutely Anything’

Will Perkins
Wide Screen
February 6, 2013

And now for something completely different ... IN SPACE!

Members of the legendary U.K. comedy troupe Monty Python are reportedly set for a long overdue reunion this spring when work begins on "Absolutely Anything,"a VFX-heavy science fiction farce in the vein of movies like "The Pink Panther."

According to Variety, the Terry Jones-directed film will reunite the surviving Pythons -- Jones, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, and Eric Idle. The film follows a group of aliens (voiced by the Pythons) who give a man (Robin Williams) the power to do "absolutely anything," and will combine live action and computer generated imagery. Williams previously worked with Python member Terry Gilliam on the surreal 1987 film "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen," and the film will also feature rising Brit stars Benedict Cumberbatch ("Star Trek Into Darkness") and Gemma Arterton ("Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters").

See also: Monty Python biopic offers untold story of Graham Chapman

It's been 30 years since the comedy crew last appeared together on the big screen in 1983's "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life." The death of member Graham Chapman in 1989 pretty much put the kibosh on another official Python project ever happening, but Jones tells Variety that "Absolutely Anything" will definitely have that distinctive Monty Python "sensibility."

The remaining Pythons have intermittedly collaborated with one another in the years since Chapman's death, but they rarely appear together as a group, making "Absolutely Anything" a rare treat for fans of the Python's brand of surrealist comedy. It's been nearly 15 years since the last official appearance of the comedy troupe when the surviving members (along with the late Chapman's supposed ashes) headlined the 1998 Aspen Comedy Festival.

The group's members have all enjoyed successful and unique post-Python careers. Cleese and Palin have been particularly successful in front of the camera, with the two appearing in films like "A Fish Called Wanda" and "Fierce Creatures," and the latter becoming a celebrated travel documentarian. Idle has concentrated mostly on voice, musical, and stage work, appearing in countless animated films and one man shows.

See also: Terry Gilliam's daughter blogs her father's archives

Gilliam and Jones, on the other hand, have mostly focused their efforts on directing and writing since retiring from Python. Gilliam directed such films as "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "Brothers Grimm," and "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," while Jones helmed all three of Monty Python's official movie outings, as well as an animated adaptation of the classic "Wind in the Willows" children's tale. Jones's work makes him particularly suited to direct a Python reunion project like "Absolutely Anything."

Does the prospect of seeing (or at least hearing) the Python's back together have you excited? Or are you worried that the project might tarnish the sterling legacy of the legendary comedy group?

"Absolutely Anything" currently has no release date.

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