The producers of Horrible Histories are in talks to produce a full-length feature film spin-off of the CBBC show.
Producer Caroline Norris told a panel session at the Edinburgh International Television Festival that the project was at an early stage, but added: “We are in negotiations on a movie and we’re are trying to sort out the rights with a US company.”
Norris said that the proposed film would follow the Monty Python mould of transitioning from a sketch show to a narrative movie.
She revealed that the stoning sequence from Python’s film Life of Brian featured in the original showreel that the team cut to sell the idea to the BBC, along with clips from Blackadder and Do Not Adjust Your Set.
Norris also said that one of the hardest sketches to sell to BBC compliance featured Cleopatra committing suicide, in this version by buying an asp over the internet.
“The fact is it happened, and I looked online and at children’s projects to see how it is covered in schools,” she said. “I said: if any child orders an asp online and kills themselves, I’ll take responsibility.”
The general rule of thumb as to how far the show can go in terms of taste, she said, was whether she would comfortable watching it with a 10 year-old - and whether there is a comedy angle.
The team has vetoed covering the Holocaust, and Norris also decided against on-screen depiction of Boudicca drinking poison.
The session also covered the show’s rigorous approach to historical accuracy. Historical consultant Greg Jenner said that of around 4,000 historical facts featured in the series to date, the show has been pulled up on just eight.
Shooting begins soon on series five of the show, with planned songs featuring Charles Dickens, loosely based around Morrisey, a Jessie J spoof featuring Joan of Arc and an Aretha Franklin-esque Motown number sung by Rosa Parks.
This story was originally published by Broadcast.