British comedy fans got some unexpected good news this week when John Cleese announced he’d be returning to star in a third season of his beloved sitcom “Fawlty Towers.” The revival, which is being produced by Matthew George and Rob Reiner through the latter’s Castle Rock Entertainment banner, is set to feature Cleese’s embattled hotel manager Basil Fawlty teaming up with his daughter to run a new inn.
Cleese and Reiner’s initial statements announcing the project contained more generalities than details. But new information about the content of the show is beginning to emerge. In an interview with British news outlet GB News (via Deadline), Cleese explained that the new season will be set in a “small bijou hotel” on a Caribbean island. He explained that the Caribbean setting will allow the show to feature a more diverse cast when the story picks up 40 years after the end of Season 2.
“If you put it in the Caribbean, it becomes very multi-racial,” Cleese said. “People in the hotel business come from everywhere, so you can bring lots of different people together. The characteristic of ‘Fawlty Towers’ was the pressure cooker atmosphere created in the hotel.”
While the “Fawlty Towers” revival will be Cleese’s most prominent acting role in decades, it’s not as if the comedian has shied away from the spotlight in recent years. Cleese has been increasingly outspoken about his grievances with what he sees as “cancel culture” and the way it has created a hostile environment for comedians. He was also an outspoken supporter of the 2016 Brexit referendum. Some fans wondered if his worldview would find its way into the new “Fawlty Towers” episodes, but Cleese said that critics speculating about the content of the new season don’t know what they’re talking about.
“They obviously know better than I do what’s going to be in it. Maybe they should write an episode for me that they would find acceptable. Might not be very funny, but I’m sure it would really please some of their readers,” he said. “The idea that it’s all going to be about wokery hadn’t particularly occurred to me.”