Made in association with Bill and Ben Productions Ltd., Trinity (UK) and Brainstorm Media, A Liar’s Autobiography tells the story of Chapman’s life in the famously atypical Python style.
The film will be released theatrically in Britain by London-based Trinity. Its world television premiere will be in both 2D and 3D on EPIX and EpixHD.com next spring.
The EPIX original will feature recordings of Chapman that he made of his book in 1982. Premiering under the newly introduced EPIX Pictures banner, the film reunites members of the Monty Python troupe.
A plethora of animation companies are currently working on the film: Asylum Films, Made Visual Studio, Not to Scale, Treat Studio’s, Peepshow, Steven Lall, Sherbert, Superfad, Mr & Mrs Smith, Trunk, Cake, Arthur Cox, A for Animation, Tundra and Beakus.
“This innovative and modern take on Chapman’s comic genius is an exciting event, and EPIX is thrilled to premiere A Liar’s Autobiography in the United States,” said EPIX president and CEO Mark Greenberg.
“I had no idea until recently that Graham Chapman is in fact dead — I thought he was just being lazy,” said Monty Python’s Terry Jones. “However, I am now delighted to find myself working with him again on this exciting project.”
The feature is being produced and directed with that trademark Python humor by Bill Jones, Ben Timlett and Jeff Simpson of London-based Bill and Ben Productions, responsible for Who Killed Nancy, Rebel Truce — The History of the Clash, Chemical Wedding and Monty Python Almost the Truth: the Lawyers Cut.
“We’ve been working closely with the Chapman estate and the Pythons to make sure we get this exactly right,” said Simpson. “Graham would be delighted that his work is being reimagined in glorious 3D. He always loved wearing silly glasses.”
Executive producers Mark Sandell of Trinity (UK) and Meyer Shwarzstein of Brainstorm Media will distribute the animated feature in the United Kingdom and the United States, respectively.
The British comedy group Monty Python is best known for their TV comedy sketch show Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which first aired on BBC in 1969. The series was created, written and performed by Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin.
The troupe brought their comedy to the big screen with the feature films And Now For Something Completely Different (1971), Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1975), Monty Python’s Life Of Brian (1979) and Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life (1983). All combined live action with animated sequences by Gilliam.
The eccentrically told A Liar’s Autobiography was first published in Britain in 1980 and republished in 1999. The book gives readers a look into Chapman’s hilarious and touching life. He relates the extraordinary and surreal account of his more than eventful life — whether as mountaineer or medical student, actor or alcoholic, heterosexual groupie guzzler or homosexual coming to terms with himself.
As a celebrated member of the Monty Python team, his zany wit became familiar to millions of viewers worldwide. The New Yorker described A Liar’s Autobiography to be “required reading for Monty Python fans,” and London’s Evening Standard claims that it is “an intercoursingly good book… definitely not a present for your aunty.”
A loony yet sincere account, this story uncovers the complexity and reality of Chapman’s life. Chapman’s audio book was recorded and released in 1989 shortly before his death.