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.