Last week the news broke that Fox is working on a film adaptation of Spamalot, the musical by Eric Idle based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
I’ve wanted a film adaptation of Spamalot for a while now. I wrote on TrekBBS a year ago, “I’d have preferred it ten years ago with the original cast (Tim Curry, David Hyde-Pierce, Hank Azaria), but I’ll take it now.”
I have noticed some pushback on the idea of a Spamalot film online — “Why is a Spamalot film necessary when Monty Python and the Holy Grail exists?” Personally, I think there’s enough different (for instance, anything involving the Lady of the Lake) for the two films to stand alone. And, let’s be frank, a film means a new revenue stream, and why would Eric Idle say no to money?
There are two things about Spamalot, the Broadway musical, that may not work in film — “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway,” which may not make sense in a film context, and the finale, which involves Arthur finding the Grail in the live audience.
I imagine, then, that there may be changes, and Spamalot: The Movie won’t be identical to Spamalot: The Broadway Musical. New songs? New story?
It’s the idea that Idle might create some new story for the film that intrigues me the most. Twenty years ago, the Pythons considered making a new film, a sequel to Holy Grail titled “Monty Python and The Final Crusade,” in which the knights reunited for one last adventure. Idle could incorporate some of the ideas for “The Final Crusade” into the Spamalot screenplay, perhaps giving whichever members of Python were interested one final send-off.
In any event, Spamalot: The Movie begins filming next year, with release sometime in 2020. I have no idea who will be cast — I don’t know if he can sing, but I think Tom Hanks would make a marvelous King Arthur — but whoever is, I’m sure they’ll be great.