Fish Called Wanda musical gets closer

Cleese signs rights deal

The Fish Called Wanda stage musical has come a step nearer after John Cleese struck a deal with the MGM studio, which owns the rights to his hit film.

Work on the long-planned project stalled when the studio went bankrupt last year, but its new owners are much keener on the idea, Cleese told Chortle.

He revealed that he will meet the producer financing the musical next month – but said the project probably still has some way to go before hitting the stage.

In an interview to promote the DVD of his Alimony tour, Cleese said: ‘‘The Wanda musical is still on the cards.

‘One of the reasons we’ve been delayed is that MGM was in a terrible mess... and now a couple of people have brought it who are apparently, according to my spies, extremely decent and reasonable human beings. As a result of that, a deal has been done because it was very hard doing a deal with the previous lot of people

‘So now I'm going to be meeting a guy in New York in December, he’s going to put the money up. Meanwhile we are looking for a director.

‘I've already written the book with my daughter Camilla and we handed that in almost a year ago, but musicals take an enormously long time to put together. It’s like the gestation period of an elephant. Someone told me the average is about eight years, so I’m being patient.

‘But the most important thing is that when it happens, it should be good and that means getting the right people, and very frequently you have to wait for the right people because the right people are usually busy.;

Here’s the full interview:

Published: 22 Nov 2011

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