Monty Python has rarely let the 1989 death of Graham Chapman stand in the way of including him in their reunions, often talking about him as though he were still alive and a bit of a bastard, and even dragging along and then accidentally spilling his “ashes” across an Aspen stage in 1998. Now they’re working on reviving him in an even more direct way, creating a 3-D animated version of Chapman’s mostly made-up 1980 memoir, A Liar’s Autobiography: Volume VI, built around a recently discovered audio recording Chapman made of it during a night at Harry Nilsson’s studio. The project, tentatively titled (or subtitled) Graham Chapman: Dead In 3-D, involves 15 separate animation studios working on the book’s chapters in various different styles, an approach meant to reflect the different stages of Chapman’s life as well as, by producer Jeff Simpson’s own admission, “saves us a lot of time” as they ready it for premiere next year both in UK theaters and on Epix in the U.S. At the moment, all the other Pythons are recording voiceover roles that will be cut together with Chapman’s narration, both playing themselves and various characters; so far the only holdout is Eric Idle, although the producers are reportedly “working on” him. Considering Idle has become the Python most known for commercializing and capitalizing on the group’s legacy, maybe he’s just mad he didn’t come up with this first?
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