Musicals, when done right, can be breathtaking cinematic journeys that bring what worked on the stage to living, breathing life. This potential success is even more admirable if the source material started out as a film in the first place, much as Monty Python’s Spamalot started its life as the 1975 comedy classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Now, after years of development and a shift in studios, the Tony-award winning hit is finally about to get the movie treatment. Though there’s more good news, as the project is fully developed, and talent intimately involved with the original production are involved in the process!
Per reporting from Deadline, Monty Python’s Spamalot has been acquired by Paramount after spending an extended period of time being developed over at the studio formerly known as 20th Century Fox. Much like Tom Hanks/Paul Greengrass’ recent drama News of the World and several other projects that were jettisoned by the Fox/Disney merger, Spamalot found itself jumping onto another studio’s lot. Luckily for those looking forward to a film adaptation of the big ticket musical, a full-fledged script penned by Monty Python member/Spamalot writer Eric Idle already exists, with the show’s choreographer, Casey Nicholaw, in the director’s chair.
Normally, you’d expect this sort of announcement to entail some sort of further development period, especially when a musical like Monty Python’s Spamalot is allowed to sit on the shelf for as long as it has. However, those Fox development days don’t seem to have been wasted, as it sounds like the musical is ready to delve into the finer details, like casting and pre-production. The news couldn’t come at a better time for Paramount, and it’s a rather interesting scenario that echoes something almost completely different.
An interesting bit of information coming out of this Spamalot reporting is the fact that current Paramount chairman/CEO Jim Gianopulos, as well as Motion Pictures Group president Emma Watts, happened to be at Fox when the Monty Python project first took shape. With that connection firmly in play, there’s a shot that other Fox projects left to languish in the wake of the Disney merger could resurface. Whether it’s Wes Ball’s cancelled film adaptation of Mouse Guard, or even a sequel to Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel, if it was a Fox project that found its way off the books during the Gianopulos/Watts era, these projects could help boost Paramount’s modest roster of franchises back to its blockbuster past.
The future of films completed and waiting for release is obviously still a bit up in the air, and even Paramount understands that. But alongside ready-to-release films like A Quiet Place Part II and Top Gun: Maverick, as well as in development sequels like Sonic The Hedgehog 2, now lies the sword of Excalibur. Cue the strange and not-so farcical aquatic ceremonies and fetchez le Can-Can dancers, as Monty Python’s Spamalot is about to get a lot more exciting.