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Long-Developing Monty Python Project 'Absolutely Anything' Adds Benedict Cumberbatch & Gemma Arterton

by Kevin Jagernauth
November 7, 2012 9:43 AM
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Update: Reps for Gemma Arterton have told us the actress has not been confirmed for this project.

In the works since at least 2010, the return to the big screen of legendary comic troupe Monty Python has been slow going to say the least. "Absolutely Anything," which would mark the reunion of the surviving members of the comic team in a movie outing for the first time since 1983's "The Meaning of Life," got a bit more movement at the beginning of this year when Robin Williams joined in a voice role....and then that was it. But now, two kind of surprising names have been added to the comedy romp.

The Wrap reports that Benedict Cumberbatch and Gemma Arterton are joining the movie that centers on a teacher who discovers he has incredible powers, with the ability to wipe out entire classrooms and bring people back from the dead. But learning how to use them properly causes a variety of (very British, probably) mishaps. There's no word yet on the roles for Cumberbatch and Arterton, but we presume they'll be the live-action counterpart to a film that will feature voice work from Terry Jones (who is also directing), Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and John Cleese. Production will begin early next year.

It'll be interesting see how Cumberbatch and Arterton will factor into the picture as Python humor tends to be very specific, and we'd guess they might be playing the straight characters in this. But perhaps it's an opportunity for them to flex some rare comic chops. Either way, we'll soon find out.

The flim is just the latest in a string of movies for Arterton, who recently signed up for the comedy "Walking On Sunshine" with Kylie Minogue. The actress also joined "The Pre-Nup" opposite "Downton Abbey" star Hugh Bonneville. Written and directed by Jonathan Lynn ("My Cousin Vinny," "The Whole Nine Yards"), the romantic comedy will follow a British ex-pat novelist living in New York City who gets engaged to an investment banker, but his father threatens to cut him off if he doesn't sign a pre-nup. First world problems, indeed. The film is in pre-production. 

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  • Michael | January 5, 2013 6:02 PMReply

    Where's Eric Idle? He's still "surviving" , isn't he?

  • AllanC28 | November 12, 2012 5:59 AMReply

    @LUCY J. Chastain, M. Fassbender, R. Gosling and C. Tatum have all been in almost every movie coming out in the two years and getting much more exposure than B. Cumberbatch, and as far as most people can tell, they are all doing rather well. Cumberbatch is no Little Red Cap and Hollywood is not Big Bad Wolf; it's about time that Cumberbatch joins the list of major players on the the big screen. Besides, this movie is not so purely Hollywood; the major cast and crew are seemingly British and its distributor GFM Films is also London-based. The Brian Epstein biopic is produced by Tom Hank's Playtone, a good production co., but hardly a major Hollywood studio, and it's still in financing process. You might want to do some background checks before turning on your anti-Hollywood mode.

  • GHTFSD | November 11, 2012 9:32 PMReply

    Any project with Benedict Cumberbatch rules.

  • Tom | November 7, 2012 7:05 PMReply

    Hahaha! All the Cumberbitches commenting on every site about every news concerning Cumberbatch is truly hilarious. Come, on. You don't need to repeat time and time again how great he is. We know that. And Hollywood knows that! Why do you think his name is being thrown at every highly-anticipated project in development?!

  • lucy | November 10, 2012 2:46 PM

    yep, he is a great actor full of charisma and good for him if Hollywood is in love with him right now..but too much hype can be poison in the long haul..audience can be pretty quickly tired of always the same faces on screen..Studios don't seem to get balance..Cumberbatch should be careful, otherwise soon he will be the new lead of shitty movies like, that being said i can't wait to see the new Monty Pythons project even if the great and late Graham Chapman will be very missed (oh Brian how i miss you fellow..)

  • S | November 7, 2012 11:11 AMReply

    This probably sounds crazy but he reminds me a some kind of British Will Farrell in Starter for Ten.

  • holly | November 7, 2012 10:22 AMReply

    What do you mean! Havent you seen Cumberbatch's comedic tour de force in Starter for Ten. Listen to his comedy work in the radio series Cabin Pressure

  • Hell | November 7, 2012 11:33 AM

    HOLLY or whatever usernames you have been using on Playlist, please calm down. This article is neutral; no one is hurting your BC. I'm a fan of Mr. Cumberbatch's work as well, and as far as I know, most of us are not so over-sensitive and over-protective.

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