Monty Python Reunites for ‘Absolutely Anything’ (Sort Of)

John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and director Terry Jones are teaming up for the new sci-fi comedy.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

There is a fantasy many of us have that all the Monty Python cast members will reunite – even the late Graham Chapman, just to surprise us – for one more comedy classic featuring their inimitable writing and performances. Today… is not that day. But four of the remaining cast members of the comedy troupe are working together on a new, non-Monty Python feature film, and there's at least an offer out to the other one.

We say this because we don't want you to get your hopes up too much for Absolutely Anything, a new sci-fi comedy from director Terry Jones (The Life of Brian), a new comedy that will feature appearances by John Cleese, Michael Palin, and even Terry Gilliam, himself now the renowned director of films like Brazil and The Fisher King. It's a new comedy, it stars a bunch of Pythons, but it is not – as Variety's announcement is quick to remind us – a new "Monty Python" movie. Although director Jones is quoted as saying, "it has that sensibility."

Absolutely Anything will combine live-action and CGI, and also feature the voice talents of Robin Williams. (An offer is out to Eric Idle, who previously declined to work on the recent animated feature A Liar's Autobiography with the rest of the team). The film centers around a group of aliens, played by the Pythons, who bestow upon one human being the power to do, well, "absolutely anything," just to see what happens. Naturally, comedic hijinks ensue. Robin Williams will play a talking dog.

It sounds an awful lot like a 1961 "Twilight Zone" episode called "Mr. Dingle the Strong," written by series creator Rod Serling, about a hapless boob played by Burgess Meredith who is given superhuman strength by aliens just to see how what he'll do with the abilities. Later, after the experiment is completed, another set of aliens bestow Mr. Dingle with superhuman intelligence for the very same reason. It also sounds an awful lot like Bruce Almighty, obviously, but with Terry Jones at the helm we doubt that Absolutely Anything will ever that get preachy on us.

In any case, we hope that Absolutely Anything lives up to its potential and feels, at least, like the Monty Python reunion we've all been dreaming about, particularliy if Eric Idle agrees to come aboard.

William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline's Film Channel, the co-host of The B-Movies Podcast and the co-star of The Trailer Hitch. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.