The BBC’s Horrible Histories children’s show will make the leap to the big screen when the untold story of William Shakespeare is revealed in the first feature film created by the team behind the award-winning series.
The six lead members of the Horrible Histories cast will all play multiple roles, in the style of Monty Python, when BILL begins shooting the UK later this year.
Written by and starring Laurence Rickard and Ben Willbond, BILL tells the story of how hopeless lute player Bill Shakespeare leaves his family and home to follow his dream.
The producers promise: “It’s a tale of murderous kings, spies, lost loves, and a plot to blow up Queen Elizabeth. Can one man prove the quill is mightier than the sword?”
The BBC Films project also features Horrible Histories regulars Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas and Jim Howick.
The Bafta-winning show, famed for its gore-filled intepretation of history’s landmark events, will come to an end with a fifth and final BBC series this month. Terry Deary, the author of the original books, which have sold 25 million copies, has said he will not write any more.
But Horrible Histories, which has already spawned a sell-out West End stage show is now set to become a big-screen franchise.
Rickard and Willbond said: “BILL is a comedy adventure for all the family. We're playing with history, just as Shakespeare did, for the entertainment of the audience. And we like to think he’d be OK with it. Apart from the bit where he's dressed as a tomato.”
Christine Langan, Head of BBC Films, said: “We’re thrilled that BBC Films is making the first film starring this team of incredibly talented and popular British comedy writers and performers,”
“‘Horrible Histories has been a terrific success and is hugely popular with both kids and their parents. BILL will be a film for all the family to enjoy with original British talent telling a very funny story about Shakespeare.”
Richard Bracewell (The Gigolos) will direct BILL, which is produced by Cowboy Films and Punk Cinema.