"Absolutely Anything," a sci-fi farce combining Simon Pegg and Kate Beckinsale with members of Monty Python's Flying Circus, has racked up strong sales at Cannes.
The film, currently in post-production with Terry Jones directing, has been sold by GFM Films in the U.K.. to Lionsgate, in Germany to Telepool and Senator, in Scandinavia to Svenske, in Australasia to Icon, in CIS to Exponeta and in the Middle East to ECS.
The Pythons are voicing key roles as a a group of aliens who endow a disillusioned teacher (Pegg) with the power to do "absolutely anything" to see what a mess he'll make of things -- which is precisely what happens.
There's also a talking dog named Dennis, voiced by Robin Williams, who seems to understand more about the mayhem that ensues than anyone else does. Pegg's character is ultimately faced with the conundrum of having to choose between a dog and a girl.
Buyers at Cannes were shown a promo reel showing Pegg turning a friend into a duck and Beckinsale admitting it was "tricky" to kiss a dog. Other cast includes Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, Eddie Izzard, Joanna Lumley and Rob Riggle, playing a U.S. general.
The film is being produced by Ben Timlett and Bill Jones at Bill & Ben Productions. Mike Medavoy, who previously worked with Jones on "Life of Brian" and "Eric the Viking," is exec producing along with Chris Chesser ("Major League").
Jones told Variety in 2012, "It's not a Monty Python picture, but it certainly has that sensibility,"
"Anything" is based on a script developed by Jones and Gavin Scott over the past two decades. Jones co-directed 1974â²s "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" with Terry Gilliam and was the sole director on "Life of Brian" and "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life."
The five surviving troupe members last appeared together in 1998 at the Aspen Comedy Festival along with an urn that allegedly contained the ashes of late member Graham Chapman.
Medavoy, whose recent producing credits are for "Black Swan" and the upcoming Chilean mining disaster film "The 33," noted he's had plenty of experience with films like "Absolutely Anything," dating back to the "Pink Panther" pictures of the 1970s, when he headed production at United Artists.
"My favorite scene in 'Absolutely Anything' is when the dog refuses to talk to Simon until he gets a dog biscuit," Medavoy said.