Mel Brooks' "History of the World" Gets Follow-Up...40 Years Later
Mel Brooks became a legend when it came to his parodies of classic genres. Whether it was Westerns (Blazing Saddles), monster movies (Young Frankenstein), or science fiction (Spaceballs), there was nothing in cinema that Brooks didn't skewer with comedic delight. However, one of his lesser known films was the 1981 feature History of the World, Part I that saw Brooks taking stabs at historical epics. Essentially, the original film was a series of segments set during different periods of world history (the Stone Age, the Old Testament, Ancient Rome, the French Revolution, etc.).
While the film was a modest success (making $31 million on a $10 million budget), it did grow in popularity over the years, gaining fame aspects such as the song-and-dance number about the Spanish Inquisition. The film did end with a mock teaser trailer for History of the World, Part II (narrated by Brooks) which promised now famous 'coming attractions" like Hitler on Ice, a Viking funeral, and "Jews in Space" (a parody of Star Wars and The Muppet Show). However, there was originally no plans for a sequel to be released. The Part I of the film's title was originally intended to be a historical joke, inspired by The History of the World, Volume 1 which was written by Sir Walter Raleigh while prisoner in the Tower of London and only managed to complete the first volume before being beheaded. However, now Brooks will make a Part II!
Forty years after the original fim, Brooks has signed on to write and executive produce History of the World, Part II which has been ordered by Hulu and will run for eight episodes. Brooks will be orchestrate a writers room that begins this month ahead of production in Spring next year. Nick Kroll, Wanda Sykes, Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen, and Kevin Salter will also executive produce. Searchlight Television and 20th Television will produce the series. Stay tuned!