Stephen Fry To Play God in New Drama About Monty Python

7:11 AM PST 07/01/2011 by Mimi Turner

The BBC4 comedy drama will revisit the controversy around the comedy group's religious satire "The Life of Brian."

LONDON -- Stephen Fry will play God in a an upcoming BBC4 comedy drama about the religious controversy stirred up by Monty Python movie The Life of Brian.

Fry will lend his heavyweight presence in Holy Flying Circus to a lineup that also includes Darren Boyd as John CleeseCharles Edwards as Michael Palin, Steve Punt  as Eric Idle and Phil Nichol as Terry Gilliam. Tom Fisher will play the late Graham Chapman.

Written by The Thick of It scribe Tony Roche, the TV film will tell the story of the outraged - and sometimes violent - response to The Life of Brian ­- the Monty Python movie that satirized the life of Jesus.

The movie is regarded as one of comedy group's biggest creative and box-office successes, featuring Eric Idle in the title role of Brian, a  man who was born in the stable next to the one where Jesus was born and mistaken for the Messiah by adoring supporters. The movie culminates in a scene of Idle, bound to the crucifix,  joining a host of other persecuted Christians singing "Always Look On The Bright Side of Death."

The movie prompted immediate condemnation from the British religious establishment, and the BBC4 movie will re-enact a TV debate between John Cleese, Michael Palin and members of the Anglican clergy.

"This is a smart and witty take on both the nature of censorship and and the world of Monty Python," said BBC4 head Richard Klein.

The drama will air in the fall and be made for BBC4 by Hillbilly Television and Talkback Thames.

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