Sometimes a seemingly perfect meal can be made even better with the addition of a little salt, or if you’re me, a hunk of cheese. I didn’t think the cast of Terry Jones’ upcoming sci-fi comedy Absolutely Anything could possibly get any more extravagant, as Simon Pegg and Robin Williams combined with the surviving members of Monty Python (sans Eric Idle) make for a dream cast for comedy fans. Well, it’s going to get a lot funnier with the new additions of Eddie Izzard, one of the smartest stand-up comics/actors working today; Kate Beckinsale, who isn’t so much funny as she is hot and not in yet another Underworld movie; and Joanna Lumley, who played the hilarious drunken coot Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous. The only thing left to do now is resurrect George Carlin and put him in this movie as well.
Pegg will star as a disillusioned school teacher who is granted amazing abilities by a group of power-hungry aliens, voiced by Jones, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, and John Cleese. (This Deadline story says Eric Idle is also there, but I think that’s a misprint, as no one else is reporting that he relented and joined the cast.) Pegg can now do — wait for it — absolutely anything with his new abilities, but it’s not all a cake walk. As he struggles to figure everything out, he looks to the help of his talking dog, voiced by Williams, but the duo are caught in a wave of zany hijunks. Beckinsale will play a woman named Catherine who sounds like she’ll be a love interest Pegg’s character will have to save in some way. That’s to be expected. No word is given on who Izzard or Lumley will play. I really hope they aren’t wasted in generic roles, such as Izzard playing Pegg’s hoighty-toighty principal boss.
The article also mentions some behind-the-scenes talent coming on board, with Jim Acheson set up for both costume and set design. He got his start on Doctor Who in the 1970s, and was also responsible for part of the looks of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy and Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. I figured everything was just going to be created in CGI, so such a high-profile costume designer is an interesting choice. I’d much rather see a prosthetic alien with Cleese’s voice booming out of it than a digitally created being.
Beckinsale, whose last trip into sci-fi was 2012’s unfortunate Total Recall remake, is currently filming Michael Winterbottom’s drama The Face of an Angel, and will be seen later this year in Brad Anderson’s spooky thriller Eliza Graves.
Izzard, whose latest stand-up tour will start in April here in the U.S., is filming the heavy drama Boychoir for François Girard, and also has Gillies MacKinnon’s drama Castles in the Sky in the can. Lumley, meanwhile, was recently seen in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street and wrapped production last year on Peter Bogdanovich’s next comedy, Squirrels to the Nuts.
If this were an American production, it would have already gone through five different release dates, but we’re in the dark as to when we’ll be catching Absolutely Anything. We’re just happy it’s finally moving forward. Check out the promo poster below and give a listen to Izzard’s take on landing on the moon.