Graham Chapman tribute from Monty Python - NY Times

Looki here, looki here!!

"You can kill him, cremate him and (ostensibly) kick his ashes around the stage at a comedy festival in Aspen. But you can’t keep a funny guy down.

Graham Chapman, whose death from cancer in 1989 forever closed the door on a full reunion of the Monty Python comedy troupe, will soon be back in what might be the next best thing: he will star in a 3-D animated version of his absurdist memoir, “A Liar’s Autobiography: Volume VI,” with most or all of the surviving Python members performing roles that are cut together with Chapman’s voice from a taped reading made shortly before he died.

Produced and directed by Bill Jones, Ben Timlett and Jeff Simpson, who are based in London, the project continues a chaotic afterlife for the creators of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” a BBC comedy series whose run ended in 1974. They have resurfaced in films, on Broadway and in a 1998 appearance at the Aspen Comedy Arts festival, during which Terry Gilliam of the group kicked over what appeared to be an urn containing Mr. Chapman’s ashes. (In fact, those were scattered elsewhere.)

In keeping with the scrambled nature of all things Python, the new film has 15 animation companies working on chapters that will range from 3 to 12 minutes in length, each in a different style.

“Creatively, the different styles reflect the stages in Graham’s life,” said Mr. Simpson, who joined Mr. Timlett and Mr. Jones in describing the project in a telephone interview in mid-June. “Also, it saves us a lot of time.”

The film is expected to be about 85 minutes long, and should be finished in time for release next spring by Brainstorm Media and the production company Trinity, the filmmakers said. In the United Kingdom, it will open in theaters. In the United States it will have a debut on the television and online services operated by Epix. That company helped to finance the picture as part of an initiative under which it backs projects that look inside the entertainment world, according to Mark Greenberg, the president and chief executive of Epix.

First published in 1980, “A Liar’s Autobiography” was a deliberately fanciful account. And precisely what it says about Mr. Chapman remains open to debate.

“Nothing,” said Terry Jones, one of the six original Pythons and the father of Bill Jones, one of the producers, when asked recently what was true in the book’s description of Mr. Chapman’s progress through medical school, alcoholism, acknowledgment of his gay identity and the toils of surreal comedy. “It’s all a downright, absolute, blackguardly lie,” he said — perhaps joking, as Pythons will.

But Mr. Simpson says there is truth to be found, somewhere, in the book’s collection of stories, some of which are no sooner told than they are disavowed by the author.

“Graham’s is the story of a man who was openly gay but secretly alcoholic,” Mr. Simpson said. “This is not the story of Monty Python, it is a man’s life,” he added.

Hoping to make a documentary about Mr. Chapman, Mr. Simpson said he was initially disappointed during a visit to Mr. Chapman’s life partner, David Sherlock, who told him that home movies and other raw materials for a possible film did not exist. But Mr. Sherlock mentioned Mr. Chapman’s taped reading of the book, recorded in a single night in the studio of a Chapman friend, Harry Nilsson, at a time when audiobook recordings were not yet commonplace.

The idea of blending Mr. Chapman’s voice with animation and added dialogue from his old partners grew from talks with Mr. Timlett and Bill Jones, who had already made a six-part documentary series called “Monty Python: Almost the Truth — The Lawyer’s Cut.”

In the new film, John Cleese, a Python member who worked closely with Mr. Chapman after the two met at Cambridge University, engages in a long conversation while bicycling with his former partner. Mr. Chapman’s voice, captured long ago, is matched with Mr. Cleese’s newly recorded dialogue.

Michael Palin will appear as Mr. Chapman’s father. Mr. Gilliam plays various roles. So far, among the original Python group, only Eric Idle has not become involved, though Mr. Timlett said the filmmakers are “working on” him. (Queried through a spokesman, Mr. Idle did not respond.)

Bill Jones said he was particularly struck by the promotional potential of a project whose home video boxes might say: “Graham Chapman — Dead in 3-D.”

Terry Jones, who plays both himself and Mr. Chapman’s mother in the film, said he wouldn’t take any of it too seriously.

“The film shouldn’t be made,” he insisted in a conversation during which he laughed more than spoke from Gotland Island in Sweden, where he was vacationing.
“There isn’t a single word of truth in it.”

Isn't this awesome or what!?!

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Paute: You can follow the proyect on Facebook!

Project Chapman 3D

Tanya_Birklid19 at 5:51 pm July 02

Oooh! *Like*

Mrs Attila the Hun 93: Forgot to say how awesome the picture is. Love the expression on Jonesy, teehee, and Mikey ... looks like he's either about to attack Jonesy with his super claw attack or is squeezing an imaginary 7 foot woman's ... erm ... booby XD

nope_ive_been_shopping at 10:13 pm June 29

Jonesy looks like he's about to sneeze :)

MontyPyhonRocks274: AWESOME!! But why not Eric.... it would be nice to get all of the Pythons back like this

a_nervous_wreck: I know I already commented on this, but GOD I'm so excited, I have to comment again. I can't wait for Spring 2012 now! Now if Jim Yoakum would just get off his lazy ass and start making Gin and Tonic again like he was SUPPOSED TO DO YEARS AGO, I will be the happiest girl in America :)

Johnnyrose: Now her's a great news!!!!!

larsen525: According to the Twitter feed of Robert Ross, author of several books on British comedy, "I can confirm that Carol Cleveland is lending her vocals talents to the project as well."

Mrs Attila the Hun 93 at 12:38 pm June 28

Marvellous, simply marvellous! Carol Cleavage is back xD

Johnnyrose at 2:18 pm June 28

Carol!! Carol!! Carol!!

the_thina: it sound really great! but the last thing it said took my breath away.... terry jones on gotland... WHERE I LIVE! and gotland is only 2994 km² big! O_o fuck! why didnt I meet him??

Miioo at 10:21 am June 28

I read on his twitter that he celebrated Midsummer there and sang and danced 'Små Grodorna'. XD

the_thina at 11:09 am June 28

but... but.... :O GAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!! so close, yet I didnt meet him or even know... but knowing what a history-nerd he is I think he liked my little island a lot

Miioo at 12:40 pm June 28

Ah yes, he must have had his history-craving satisfied. I must visit Gotland some time for I too am completely hooked on the Middle Ages, specially in Sweden. :)

the_thina at 2:19 pm June 28

yeah, I think thats the reason Im so interessted in history as well, I have grown up with it all around me in the form of ruins of churches, convents and our town wall. not to mention all she schooltrips to our museum of antiquities.
dont remember where you lived. was it skåne or denmark? maybe even norway?

Miioo at 2:43 pm June 28

I live in Malmö and study history and archaeology in Lund so I too have quite a lot of historic environments nearby. I can't this year, but I'm hoping to go to Medeltidsveckan next year. You must've been there right?!

the_thina at 6:07 pm June 28

yeah, skåne was the first thing that popped into my mind. :)
haha, belive it or not, I have never been to medeltidsveckan. more than walking over the marketplace and watching friends who perform (fireeaters) at night. since Im born and raised on gotland you sort of keep clear of all the typical tourist-things in the summer... the tourists are a big pain in the ass! if the tourist in question dont happen to be my friend of course, they are wellcome... XD

Tanya_Birklid19 at 11:57 am June 28

Woah wait what? Terry Jones tweets? WHAT???

Miioo at 12:36 pm June 28

Yep, he started last week. @PythonJones :D

Tanya_Birklid19 at 2:57 pm June 28


mrsCutout: WOW!!!!! That's so nice!! I am speechless!How sweet! i love them all! And Graham is awesom!!

Lady Bedevere: Holy moley! I knew Python wasn´t dead, but just resting! Best news today! Can´t wait for it, even though I doubt it´ll run in german theatres.

nope_ive_been_shopping at 2:08 pm June 27

They were just pining for the fjords :) couldn't help myself...

Paute: I need read the book.

kate volestranger: the official site:

Mrs Attila the Hun 93: Sweet mother of-- totally WOW! Aha, about time someone acknowledged the awesomeness of Mr. Chapman.

I mean, ANOTHER Python movie? This I gotta see! But an ANIMATED PYTHON MOVIE?!

*spins round in circles and squeals hysterically*

a_nervous_wreck: Holy shit holy shit holy shit holy shit holy SHIT!!! How is this happening?! First off I've got that Bio about the Life of Brian debate to look forward to, and now this?! The world loves me again! When is this airing? I need to know NOW!!! TO THE INTERWEBS!!! *duh duh duh DUH* *Batman theme starts playing*

Tanya_Birklid19: Saw this on Cinema Blend on FB and I think it's wonderful, truely awesome!! I laugh at the title, and could not stop giggling at it. I think the title is brilliant. If they stick with it that is.