21 Mar As seen in tonight’s London Evening Standard …
Kate Beckinsale to star in Terry Jones’ film project that he spent 20 years perfecting
Published: 21 March 2014
Former Monty Python star Terry Jones has admitted he is thrilled to have started shooting a film that he began work on more than 20 years ago.
Jones and his team are taking over the former Ashmount primary school site in Hornsey to make Absolutely Anything, about a disillusioned teacher who is given superpowers by aliens.
“We started it 23 years ago, but gave it up in 2003 when Bruce Almighty came out with a similar premise about a man who can make impossible things happen,” said 72-year-old Jones.
Love interest: Kate Beckinsale co-stars in Terry Jones’s latest film, Absolutely Anything (Picture: Getty)But when producer Mike Medavoy asked Jones recently if he had anything interesting to show him, he retrieved the labour of love from his drawer and wrote a screenplay with Gavin Scott.
“Neil’s in a sink secondary school and the aliens give him intergalactic powers. They choose a person at random to see whether the human race uses intergalactic powers for good or evil.”
Neil will be played by Simon Pegg, whose most recent major role was as Scotty in Star Trek. London-born Kate Beckinsale plays his love interest Catherine, a production assistant on a TV books programme.
Fellow Pythons John Cleese, Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin have been roped in to do the aliens’ voices, while Robin Williams plays the role of a dog called Dennis. Comedians including Joanna Lumley, Eddie Izzard — who plays Pegg’s headteacher — and Sanjeev Bhaskar are also set to star.
Pegg said: “As someone whose love of comedy was hugely informed by Monty Python, the chance to work with Terry was a gift. Meeting your heroes is one thing, working with them is something else.”
Jones directed his last film in 1996 when his adaptation of The Wind In The Willows won critical acclaim but received only a limited release. “It was heartbreaking,” he said. “But I’m ever hopeful. Absolutely Anything is very funny. It’s really great to be back doing a movie. I’m in my element.”