John Cleese is returning as the misanthropic hotel owner Basil Fawlty from the classic 1970s British comedy series Fawlty Towers and has teamed up with Castle Rock Entertainment and his daughter Camilla Cleese to revive the show.
Cleese and his daughter will write and star in the series, which follows Fawlty as he navigates the contemporary world. Plot details remain largely under wraps although the producers did say the series will explore the relationship between Fawlty and the daughter he never knew he had as they attempt to run a boutique hotel.
Matthew George, Rob Reiner, Michele Reiner, and Derrick Rossi serve as executive producers for Castle Rock Television, which is developing the project.
The original two seasons of Fawlty Towers ran on the BBC from 1975 and 1979 and followed the cantankerous and distinctly “un-woke” hotel proprietor living in the English south coast in Torquay, Devon, as he juggled the demands of the business and an array of eccentric guests with a challenging marriage.
The show was ranked first by British Film Institute in its 100 Greatest British Television Programmes list in 2000, and in 2019 a panel of comedy experts in the Radio Times named it the greatest British TV sitcom. Fawlty Towers currently airs on BBC 2 and streams on BritBox.
Cleese said, “What I like about Matt is that, unlike many producers, he really ‘gets’ the creative process. When we first met, he offered an excellent first idea, and then Matt, my daughter Camilla, and I had one of the best creative sessions I can remember. By dessert we had an overall concept so good that, a few days later, it won the approval of Rob and Michele Reiner. Camilla and I look forward enormously to expanding it into a series.”
Reiner added, “John Cleese is a comedy legend. Just the idea of working with him makes me laugh.”
“Meeting John and Camilla was one of the great thrills of my life. I’m obsessed with Fawlty Towers and the legendary characters he created,” said George. “I’ve watched the first two seasons so many times I have lost count. I dreamed of one day being involved in a continuation of the story. Now it’s come true.”
Castle Rock Entertainment recently announced the sequel to the 1984 cult classic This Is Spinal Tap, and the sequel to the 2017 crime drama Wind River: The Next Chapter with Martin Sensmeier set to reprise his role as Chip Hanson. Production on Wind River: The Next Chapter is scheduled to start in March.
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