British comedy troupe Monty Python will split for good after their money-spinning reunion shows this summer (14), according to Michael Palin. The veteran comedians came back together last year (13) to announce plans for a series of gigs in London in July (14), and troupe member Palin is adamant the group has no plans to work together ever again after the residency at the O2 Arena wraps.
He says, "It is entirely about money. I have only one wife, but John Cleese has had a few and Terry Jones has got a mortgage problem. I haven't got a huge amount (of money) stashed away. After the final concert we will all embrace and go our separate ways."
Actor Matt Damon signed up to appear in director Terry Gilliam's new sci-fi drama The Zero Theorem without even reading the script. The filmmaker admits casting The Bourne Identity star in the low-budget drama was "surprisingly easy", because he was ready and willing to do whatever was required of him.
Gilliam explains, "I called Matt and said, 'I've got a small part for you, probably four or five days, I'll send you the script.' He said, 'Don't bother, I'm in.'"
And Damon wasn't the only star who signed on to work with Gilliam without a script read or an agreed salary - Tilda Swinton and Skyfall actor Ben Whishaw also jumped at the chance to team up with the eccentric Monty Python legend.
He adds, "(Tilda and I) had met at different festivals and always said we ought to work together, Ben Whishaw, the same thing. And basically I just called them and they all just came and they worked for scale, that's how we made the film, because we didn't have the budget."
The Zero Theorem centres on a reclusive computer hacker, played by Christoph Waltz, who attempts to discover the reason for human existence.
Scottish actor/comedian Billy Connolly is to share his funeral plans with fans in a new TV show about death. The funnyman, who beat prostate cancer last year (13), has signed up to front a new U.K. series called Billy Connolly's Big Send Off in which he will address the sensitive subject of death and how it is viewed in different cultures.
In the show, Connolly will discuss his feelings about his own ending and his funeral plans, while he will also visit a drive-through funeral parlour in Los Angeles, a graveyard in his native Glasgow, Scotland and a pet cemetery in San Francisco, California.
Monty Python star Eric Idle will also make an appearance in the show, which is due to air in the U.K. in May (14).
A spokesperson for ITV, the U.K. network behind the programme, says, "Billy Connolly's a big fan of life. He's effervescent, energised and inspired by it, but he's also genuinely fascinated by the way we as humans treat death - a subject that is quite literally the ultimate universal experience, yet so often avoided."
Connolly announced in September (13) that he has been diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson's disease and has undergone treatment for prostate cancer. He was given the all-clear from the disease in October (13).
Funnyman Neil Innes has regrouped his Beatles parody band The Rutles for an upcoming U.K. tour. The former Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band star and sidekick John Halsey, aka Ron Nasty, and Barrington Womble, will hit the road as the 'Pre-Fab Four' in May (14).
Bandmates Eric Idle and Ricky Fataar will not be a part of the reunion.
The Rutles were conceived by Innes and Idle for a skit on the Monty Python star's British comedy show Rutland Weekend Television and they became a cult act, releasing a handful of well-received albums featuring Beatles song parodies and even starring in the mockumentary All You Need Is Cash.
Moviemaker Terry Gilliam is revisiting his doomed Don Quixote film project a decade after the release of a documentary that chronicled his failed attempts to get the epic off the ground. The Monty Python star has been trying to adapt Miquel de Cervantes' novel to the big screen for more than two decades, and he almost got the concept up and running when Johnny Depp and French actor Jean Rochefort signed on to star in what became a disastrous shoot in 2000.
The production, which was hit by floods and financial issues, was chronicled in the film Lost in La Mancha.
Gilliam abandoned the project, but revived it again in 2009 with Robert Duvall and Ewan McGregor, but that film also fell through due to financial problems.
However, the director remains determined to make a Don Quixote movie, and he plans to start shooting in the Canary Islands in September (14), according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Reports suggest Duvall is still onboard for The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.
Terry Gilliam fans, we finally have some good news for you. The trailer for the director's latest film, The Zero Theorem, was released with all of the brightly-covered, over-the-top dystopian weirdness that we have come to know and love from his work. The film follows Qohen (Christoph Waltz), a lonely, anxious computer programmer who is taked by the mysterious Management (Matt Damon), with solving the titular Zero Theorem, and equation designed to prove, once and for all, whether or not life has a point, and if so, what exactly that point is. The previous programmers who have attempted the undertaking went insane in the process, and the same thing threatens to happen to Qohen. But he's not sure if the added presence of Bainsley (Melanie Thierry) and Management's son Bob (Lucas Hedges) is helping him stay sane or pushing him further over the edge. In addition, the cast includes David Thewlis as Qohen's boss Joby, and Tilda Swinton as his computerized shrink.
The Zero Theorem seems set to temper the deep, philosophical question at its center with plenty of Gilliam's trademark irreverent humor. Based on the trailer, we can expect a final result will be just as entertaining as it is thought-provoking — think Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy rather than the Matrix trilogy. In fact, there are a lot of comparisons that can be made to Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, from the giant computer attempting to solve a math problem in order to determine the meaning of life, to the insane, neon-colored futuristic setting, filled with a host of eccentric characters, and the similarity in tone will likely be a good thing for the film, as it will hopefully be able to make The Zero Theorem more accessible to non-Gilliam fans than some of his previous films have been. The future presented by the trailer feels uncomfortably overwhelming, and although that's likely an intention choice, it could turn away moviegoers who aren't familiar with Gilliam's work. By highlighting the humor, it makes the existential crisis at the heart of the film more approachable and more interesting to a casual viewer.
But fans of the director should have no problem getting excited about The Zero Theorem, as it appears to be a quintessential Gilliam film, and should fit easily into his filmography alongside his earlier, beloved projects. Supposedly the final part of a dystopian satire "trilogy" that also includes Brazil and 12 Monkeys, early reviews have already revealed that the film has a much similar feel to the former, both in terms of overall tone and the themes that they tackle. But even if it was set in a distant, Orwellian future or feature a protagonist who must struggle against a larger, dark force that threatens to destroy him, The Zero Theorem feels so distinctly like a Gilliam film that it's hard not to draw parallels to his other projects, and it's hard to imagine any other director tackling this insanely dense story as successfully as he seems to have done.
Brazil is also considered to be a part of a series of films about escaping the awkwardness and disorder of our lives and our universe through imagination, and although The Zero Theorem will not be added to that series, Qohen is able to escape from his life and the terrifying pointlessness of it into a dream world where he can frolic on the beach with a pretty woman or stare into black holes. Though it's not clear how he is able to get to these different dimensions and dream worlds, its clear that it will play a big role both in terms of the plot and the development of Qohen's character. Gilliam also tends to use the alternate realities to explore deeper layers of the film, and to dig into the overarching questions that tend to make up the film's themes. In this case, he's dealing with fear of mortality and whether life has any sort of meaning, both of which are themes that he has used in earlier works.
Setting aside the recurring themes or dreamscapes, The Zero Theorem also appears to utilize a great deal of Gilliam's signatures in terms of visual design and cinematography. Since his days working with Monty Python, Gilliam has been known for mixing animation or cartoon-like visuals into his live-action work. Here, he uses the bright colors, cluttered cityscapes and wacky, unusual costumes in order to give the future some depth and realism, as well as to contrast the terror that the technology-obsessed, corporation controlled future instills in the audience and in the characters. Plus, the use of such a distinct visual palette allows Gilliam to highlight the differences between worlds — a trick he also used in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus in order to differentiate between the worlds that Tony was able to travel through. Even when he's using particular shots to make the audience feel claustrophobic or overwhelmed, there's something familiar about the way that he films, which gives off a sense of comfort and makes it clear that this is definitely a Gilliam film.
The Zero Theorem also features on of Gilliam's most used elements: a mysterious woman who appears in the protagonist's dreams and either spurs him into action or results in his downfalls. In this case, that woman is Bainsley, and although she first meets him in person, it appears that she is the one who leads him into the alternate dream worlds. Whether she's helping him or hurting him isn't clear, but like with all of Gilliam's films, it's clear that she will play a significant part in his journey towards truth and insanity. Even the trailer itself features one of his trademarks, and begins and ends with similar shots of the swirling black hole, making it even more clear that this is, in every sense of the word, a true Gilliam film.
With fours years having passed since his last release, and no news other than the repeated cancellation of his Don Quixote project, Gilliam fans should be excited by the trailer for The Zero Theorem, and the imminent arrive of a film that seems to be a bona fide Gilliam production. Many of his films have fallen apart before the production stage, even when fans have patiently endured years of waiting between films, they haven't always been thrilled with the result. This time, though, it finally feels like there is a Gilliam film in the pipeline that is once again worth getting excited for. For now, the only thing left to wait on is an official release date.
Terry Gilliam's wife was horrified when she found out her husband's plans to re-team with the Monty Python comedy troupe as she feared a reunion would be an embarrassment. The veteran comedians are set to perform a series of stage shows in London over the summer (14), marking the first time they have worked together in 30 years, but Gilliam has now revealed his partner, Maggie Weston, was initially opposed to the plans.
He tells Britain's Saga magazine that Maggie phoned him in tears when she found out, telling him, "What the hell do you think you are doing, you old farts? It's going to be an embarrassing shambles."
A house once used as a studio by comedy team Monty Python has gone on sale for almost $20 million (£12.5 million). The property, Milkwood Studios in north London, was used by stars including John Cleese and Eric Idle to record sketches and edit their work.
It is now a luxury three-bedroom home, complete with cinema and a roof terrace, and is on the market for $19.2 million (£12 million).
Monty Python star Michael Palin has landed another TV acting role after returning to the small screen last year (13) in black comedy The Wipers Times. The funnyman-turned-travel broadcaster will lead the cast of Remember Me, a new three-part supernatural thriller for the BBC.
Paramount via Everett Collection
So the holiday season isn't over, but you've already exhausted your holiday entertainment library. What to do? First, watch Love Actually a second time. (Hugh Grant and the Pointer Sisters, guys.) Then turn to these regular old movies that just happen to host some of the best Christmas scenes in film. Finally, congratulate yourself for being so gosh darn resourceful.
The guys show up to a post-heist Christmas party with new coupes and gals draped in furs. Jimmy is not pleased. "Are you stupid or somethin'? What's the matter with you?" Sounds like the holidays to us.
The Cutting Edge
The deliciously '90s and saxophone-drenched New Year's Eve scene may be flashier, but we prefer this understated gift exchange between the figure skater and the hockey player. Kate, because she's insufferable, gives Doug an unwieldy copy of Great Expectations. Doug, because he's falling in love with her anyway, gives her his lucky jersey.
Featuring Christan Bale in novelty reindeer antlers; a pot-bellied pig named Snowball; and a very PC Reese Witherspoon telling everyone to have a "Merry X-Mas!"
The Plastics perform a sexy dance for their school's holiday show; Amy Poehler still manages to steal the scene.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Who wouldn't want to pull on a Weasley sweater and spend Christmas at Hogwarts? The Great Hall looks even more magical than usual and a festive John Williams score follows everyone around. Plus, Harry getting his very first presents from his new friends gets us every time.
Not a scene, perhaps, but we can't snub a cameo by Peter Jackson as a demented Father Christmas.
Life of Brian
Brian is just Brian, so this scene may not actually count as a Christmas one. But the Monty Python classic is one of the most hilarious movies of all time, so we actually may not care.
Lady and the Tramp