- - Sunday, January 29, 2012

Monty Python comedy troupe reuniting for new movie

Members of iconic the British comedy group Monty Python will reunite for a new film, a science-fiction farce, ex-Python Terry Jones said in comments published Thursday.

“Absolutely Anything” will not be a Python film as such, but key members of the gang, John Cleese, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam, are involved, said Mr. Jones, who will direct the movie.

Robin Williams also will lend his voice to the film, which will combine animation and live action, while producers are attempting to sign up the other surviving Python member, Eric Idle, for the project, Agence France-Presse reports.

“It’s not a Monty Python picture, but it certainly has that sensibility,” Mr. Jones told industry daily Variety, adding filming was expected to begin in Britain in the coming months.

The original Python members - who first joined forces on the surreal TV series “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” - will voice a group of aliens who give an earthling the power to do “absolutely anything” to see what a mess he makes.

Mr. Williams will play a talking dog called Dennis, who seems to understand more than anyone else about what happens as a result.

Mr. Jones co-directed the 1974 “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” with Mr. Gilliam, and he also directed “Life of Brian” and “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.”

DeGeneres, Randy Jackson to host New Orleans benefit

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson are hosting a star-studded gala in New Orleans to benefit Brad Pitt’s Make It Right home-rebuilding effort.

According to the Associated Press, Mr. Pitt will attend the $1,000-per-person gala March 10 called “A Night to Make It Right,” which will include performances by singers Sheryl Crow, Rihanna, Seal and Dr. John, said foundation spokeswoman Taylor Royle.

Mr. Pitt launched Make It Right in 2007 to help Lower 9th Ward residents who lost their homes during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Lower 9th Ward was one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods when Katrina caused levees to fail, inundating roughly 80 percent of the city with floodwater.

Mr. Pitt worked with architects to come up with designs for stronger, safer and more energy-efficient houses than the ones residents lost. So far, 75 homes have been built, six more are under construction, and construction is set to begin on roughly eight others in coming months.

“Our goal is 150 houses, and this fundraiser is going to help us reach that goal,” said Ms. Royle, noting that all proceeds will benefit Make It Right.

Ms. Royle said it has taken more time and money than the foundation originally thought to build 150 homes. Getting in touch with families, making decisions about their homes, getting finances in order and clearing paperwork takes months, she said.

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