"Rhys Ifans wanted for film about life of Monty Python star"
published in Ananova on 29 May 2002
Wednesday, 29 May 2002

PHOTO: Rhys Ifans became an instant celebrity as the unkempt and uninhibited Spike in the 1999 romantic comedy "Notting Hill" (photo source: Rhys Ifans Online)

The producers of a new film about Graham Chapman hope to persuade Rhys Ifans to play him.

US film company HippoFilms is to make a biopic of the former Monty Python member, called Gin And Tonic.

It focuses on his life at Cambridge University and medical school as well as the Monty Python years.

The script for the film is being co-written by Jim Yoakum, who worked as Chapman's writing partner.

Yoakum told Ananova the producers already have in mind who they want for the lead part.

"We especially think Rhys Ifans is quite interesting as Graham," he said.

"We're going to hold an open casting call in London for many parts, including the young Pythons, David Frost, Marty Feldman, Peter Cook, Keith Moon.

"We hope John Cleese will reprise his speech given at Graham's memorial. We've not officially asked him yet, but have broached the idea with him.

"Someone else will play the young John of course. That's the plan anyway. Most of the info in the film comes directly from Graham's personal papers and includes a lot of previously unknown info on him. It'll be a real treat for Python fans!"

Work on Gin And Tonic is due to begin in London in November.