The hit Monty Python musical, “Spamalot,” played to sold out Broadway audiences for four years, from 2005 to 2009. It accrued 1,575 performances and 35 previews, and spun off touring companies galore.
Now it will be a movie at Paramount, after first being set up at Fox. Casey Nicholaw, choreographer of the Broadway show, will direct it, and Eric Idle of Monty Python has the script all done. Deadline first reported the deal today.
The amazing Mike Nichols directed the Broadway show, which earned 3 Tony Awards– Best Musical, Director, and Featured Actor for Sara Ramirez– yes, the same Sara Ramirez who went on to acclaim in “Grey’s Anatomy.” The show had 9 other Tony nominations and won a lot of other awards, too.
Stars Hank Azaria and Tim Curry were each nominated for Best Actor Tonys. David Hyde Pierce wasn’t, but he was hilarious in the show. Michael McGrath and Christopher Sieber were nominated for Best Featured Actor.
Will any of those actors be asked to return for the movie? It’s unclear. Azaria must be, without fail. Who take Ramirez’s role? Lizzo? Hmmm. Lady Gaga, even? As for the others, I hope Eric Idle has a lot of control over the choices. Nicholaw is a great theater director, but has never directed a feature film. He was choreographer on the film version of “The Prom,” which is a catalog of excesses. But that may have been due to the material.
Based on 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” the show is a parody of Arthurian legends. It has one great song, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” and many fun, comic tunes. But that one genius song holds up the whole show. It may be incumbent on the team to come up with another song of similar vibrancy.