Making an abrupt turn away from feature films to the small screen, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have agreed to join a re-production of the Fawlty Towers television series set to air in the Fall of 2012 on BBC2.
Fawlty Towers is Britain's most successful comedy series, led by the dry wit and bumbling antics of Torquay Hotel Owner, Basil Fawlty. Radcliffe is set to reprise the role of Fawlty, made famous by Monty Python comedian, writer and tall person, John Cleese. Emma Watson is set to play Basil's wife, Sybil, whilst Rupert Grint will play the foil in the character of Spanish waiter and bellhop, Manuel.
"With Simon Cowell backing us, it's sure to be a hit", says Lotta B. Esson, assistant to new Fawlty Towers head writer and former horror novelist, Stephen King. "Clearly if they hired Stephen, Daniel, Emma and Rupert, big money was committed to the project".
Esson also admits that there have been challenges to reprising the 70's classic. "Well, Daniel just isn't funny and Rupert, despite the dyed black hair, doesn't make a convincing Spaniard. Maybe a Spaniard with a British accent, I guess that could be funny." The premier episode was to feature the hilarity generated by a Seagull accidentally trapped in the lobby, while Basil attempts to dispatch the bird with a badminton racquet. The ghost of the bird then haunts the guests, dropping excrement on their heads in flight.
"It's as funny as Stephen can get, I think. Something had to die", says Esson.
While Simon Cowell could not be reached for comment about the show's development, British Telecom confirms the addition of eight toll based phone numbers for the show, apparently to be used to vote for the funniest cast member from that night's episode. That represents another change to the Fawlty Towers format, mixing reality TV voting with traditional situation comedy. "It should be great", hedged Esson, feigning both excitement and interest.
Public reaction over the announced remake was divided significantly by demographics. Younger fans of the Harry Potter series are expected to watch no matter how bad it is, whilst fans of the original Fawlty Towers had responded to surveys by indicating they would rather enjoy a nice root canal, or practice their projectile vomiting skills on Cowell's front porch.
John Cleese, who is not part of the new project, was overheard to say, "It's expected to be tragically funny, and I'm sure at least one of those adjectives should apply. Most likely the former."