Monty Python funnyman Eric Idle is to make a MERCHANT IVORY PRODUCTIONS spoof called REMAINS OF THE PIANO.

Lord Of The Rings hunk Orlando Bloom and Aussie OSCAR-winner Geoffrey Rush are among the big names to sign up to the comic costume drama.

The $12 million (GBP8 million) film, which begins shooting in August (03), will send up some of Britain's most renowned acting talent.

Daniel Day-Lewis will be played by Bloom, while Patrick Stewart plays a character called OBIE BEN KINGSLEY.

The cast features a mix of British actors and major Hollywood names. Anjelica Huston and SCREAM star Neve Campbell will appear alongside MICHAEL YORK, Tim Curry, Alfred Molina and Idle himself.

Robin Williams is also expected to sign up for a cameo role in the movie, which will be shot in Britain and Canada.

The film is a spoof of Merchant Ivory productions such as REMAINS OF THE DAY and A ROOM WITH A VIEW.

Rush plays HOPKINS, a British aristocrat who returns from India only to find himself implicated in a murder and forced to take up a job in the West Country as a butler.

It will be Idle's first directorial outing since 1993 comedy SPLITTING HEIRS.

15/05/2003 21:32