The producer of Monty Python and the Holy Grail – Mark Forstater - is suing the remaining members of Monty Python over royalty rights to the stage show Spamalot. Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin are all due to give evidence at London’s High Court over the next few days. Terry Gilliam and John Cleese will most likely not attend the five-day court case, as they're based overseas. Graham Chapman passed away in 1989.
The popular stage musical Spamalot is described as being “lovingly ripped off” from the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail and currently Forstater receives one fourteenth of a share of 50% of merchandising revenues. His lawyer, Tom Weisselberg, is arguing that his client should be considered as the ‘seventh Python’ and should therefore receive one seventh of the income. The Pythons are accused of “failing to pay Mr Forstater monies he says are owed to him under an agreement reached with PMP back in 1974.”
Mr Forstater was declared bankrupt in June, though last month, his bankruptcy was annulled and according to the BBC, “he entered an independent voluntary arrangement (IVA) to deal with his debts.” Spamalot was written by Eric Idle and premiered on Broadway in 2005. The show has won three Tony awards and took $1 million in its opening week on Broadway.