Carry On franchise plans new film to be released in 2017

'I am 100 per cent sure this will work, we will not dash the fans’ hopes'

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

For more than a decade, film producers have been attempting to revive the Carry On series, not seen since the much-mocked Carry On Columbus tried to kickstart the franchise in 1992. 

Now, after a string of failed attempts to revive the kitsch comedy franchise, the rights owners claim that the 32nd film will “100 per cent” be released in 2017.

Carry On Films Limited, the company set up in 2003, has announced a film currently under the title of Carry On Again is in development and will be on general release in two years.  

As yet there are no stars, director or screenplay – but Carry On Films managing director Nigel Gordon-Stewart said the script will be completed by April next year and shooting, based at Pinewood Studios, would start as early as the following month.

Attempts to revive the franchise were announced at Cannes Film Festival in 2006, then two years later Carry On London was in the works, only to collapse because of the credit crunch. But with composer John Altman on board to write the score and the backing of Sid James’s son Steve, the managing director is confident that this time Carry On will return despite the previous problems.

“I am 100 per cent sure this will work, we will not dash the fans’ hopes,” he said – certain also that there is an audience for a series whose heyday came more than 40 years ago when sexism and smut were deemed acceptable for mainstream humour. Money has been secured from an “international group of financiers”, he said.

The aim is to cast unknown talent – but the new incarnations will not be modelled on the original actors’ often repeated characteristics. 

“People have expectations and if you get it wrong, that’ll be that,” Mr Gordon-Stewart said. “It will be Carry on Columbus all over again, which we do not want.” 

Film producer Jeremy Thomas, whose uncle Gerald directed all the Carry On films, said: “Hopefully it will stimulate interest in the old films. The Carry Ons are very much in the British psyche.” There is room for the series in the 21st century, he argued. “People like to laugh. But it will have to be very funny; they have a lot to live up to.”