Monty Python’s Terry Jones says ‘Life Of Brian’ would be too risky now

The comic blames a 'resurgence in religious belief'

Monty Python star Terry Jones has claimed it is unlikely that Life Of Brian would be made now due to a resurgence in religious belief.

The 1979 movie whipped up a storm at the time, accused of blasphemy over its portrayal of a man whose life story closely mirrored that of Jesus in the Bible. But despite the controversy at the time, the actor and director said it would be even worse these days.

He told the Radio Times: “I never thought it would be as controversial as it turned out, although I remember saying when we were writing it that some religious nut case may take pot shots at us, and everyone replied ‘no’. I took the view it wasn’t blasphemous.”

Jones continued

It was heretical because it criticised the church and the way it interpreted the Gospels. At the time religion seemed to be on the back burner and it felt like kicking a dead donkey. It has come back with a vengeance and we’d think twice about making it now.

Asked whether he would make a satirical film about Islam, Jones continued: “Probably not – looking at Salman Rushdie [whose book The Satanic Verses forced him into hiding for ten years]. I suppose people would be frightened. I think it’s whipped up by the arms industry.’

Jones was speaking ahead of new BBC4 comedy drama Holy Flying Circus, which depicts the controversy surrounding the film. It airs next Wednesday, October 19.