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Atkinson Developing Black Adder Film

By Garth Franklin Tuesday June 20th 2006 07:05AM

When it comes to sitcoms in the 80's and early 90's, the British always done it better than anywhere else in the world - "Mr. Bean", "Fawlty Towers", "Yes Minister", "The Young Ones", "Red Dwarf" and "Absolutely Fabulous", and so on remain far smarter, wittier and more biting than any average episode of "Friends" or "Seinfeld".

Still, amongst all those there was one that truly stood out, and its name was "Black Adder". Now, the cult classic is headed for the big screen as Virgin.Net reports that a film version is in the production pipeline, 17 years after the final episode of the TV show aired in the United Kingdom.

Despite only 24 half-hour episodes and two specials having been made throughout its run, the series continues to have a loyal and ever growing fan base whilst many of its regular cast have gone on to major success worldwide such as Rowan Atkinson, Miranda Richardson, Stephen Fry and "House" himself Hugh Laurie.

Atkinson is apparently keen on reprising his role as Lord Blackadder, and comedian Ben Elton will once again serve as screenwriter. No word if fellow co-writer Richard Curtis, director of such films as "Notting Hill", "Bridget Jones Diary" and "Love Actually", will be involved.

The show followed the slimy Lord Blackadder and his ever suffering assistant Baldrick as they scheme and plotted ways to get rich or stay alive. There were four seasons of the show, but in a unique take each season was set in a different time period with some characters utilising the same name whilst others changed identities and personalities completely. Most though usually died in the final episode of each season.

The first season pegged the character as a somewhat weedy little coward during the Dark Ages, a trait which changed during the second and most popular season set in the court of Queen Elizabeth the First. From that season onwards he became a character rarely seen in sitcoms at the time - a complete and utter bastard driven totally by selfish gain. Last we saw of the characters was in the fourth season set during the first World War, and a subsequent special entitled 'Back and Forth' set in the year 2000. For more details, see the episode guide.

This movie is expected to be set during the Russian Revolution of 1917 where over the course of a year the ruling royal family of Tsar Nicholas II was ultimately replaced by the Communist Bolshevik party led by Lenin that paved the way for the formation of the Soviet Union.

Stephen Fry told douglasadams.se on Monday "I chatted to Rowan at the weekend. He's been doing a 'Bean' movie in France and confided that he missed the joys of Blackadder rehearsals and all that. Ben wants to do a Blackadder movie set in the Russian Revolution with a Russian branch of the family. He has some brilliant ideas. Maybe it will happen".

Fry is also refreshing frank about his concerns as well "There's a lot of feeling that we left it on such a high note that it would be a bad idea to go back. There's nothing worse than an overweight boxer past his prime lumbering into the ring past his sell-by date".

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