Per Deadline, Paramount Pictures have acquired the rights to to Monty Python’s Spamalot, and plan to develop a movie based on the Broadway musical hit.
The project was previously in the works at Fox, but lost steam once Disney acquired the company. Current Paramount chairman/CEO Jim Gianopulos and Motion Pictures Group president Emma Watts were at Fox when the project was in development there, but obviously took enough of a shine to it to bring it over to their current studio.
The Deadline report describes the film as “fully developed”, with a screenplay by Monty Python troupe member Eric Idle, with songs by Idle and John DuPrez. Casey Nicholaw, the choreographer of the original Broadway production, will direct. He’s become one of the hottest directors on Broadway thanks to his work on Book Of Mormon, Aladdin, Mean Girls and The Prom.
The musical is an adaptation of the 1975 film Monty Python And The Holy Grail, tackling the legend of King Arthur with the same tongue-in-cheek tone from the movie. The jump to Broadway was a huge hit, winning the Tony Award for Best Musical and a Best Director award for the late Mike Nichols.
With the film now under the Paramount banner, the plan is reportedly to begin casting ASAP and begin shooting this year. The adaptation is obviously being commissioned thanks to the recent musical revival on the big screen, though it will be interesting to see how something like Spamalot works in the modern era.
Monty Python is still a popular name, but it’s hard to know whether audiences will turn up for a big comedy musical at the cinema, since films existing within that mini-genre are few and far between. Kudos to Paramount for continuing to commission interesting, sometimes risky projects though.