The last of four movies Robin Williams had completed before he committed suicide this week was the live-action “Absolutely Anything,” about a teacher (Simon Pegg) who is granted the ability to do, as the title says, absolutely anything — by aliens observing him from outer space (whose voices are provided by John Cleese, Terry Gilliam and other “Monty Python” alumni).
The very first thing the man decides to do? He makes his dog, Dennis, talk.
The first thing Dennis says? “Biscuit.” The dog’s voice is provided by Williams.
“And [the Pegg character] says, ‘Biscuit? I told you you could talk. That’s one word!’ The dog says, ‘I’m not going to talk until I get my biscuit,’” the film’s producer, Mike Medavoy, told BuzzFeed News.
Medavoy said it took Williams a while to find the right voice for the dog.
“What was interesting was he started off doing it one way — tried it, it didn’t quite work,” Medavoy told Buzzfeed News. “Then, the [filmmakers] came over from London. He tried it again. And then … he called and he said, ‘I just had an inspiration. I just figured out how to do it.’”
Williams himself paid for the studio time to re-record his role.
“Absolutely Anything,” which is currently in post-production, also marks the first time in nearly two decades that “Monty Python” alums Cleese and Gilliam, along with Eric Idle and Michael Palin, have done a project together. The film was directed and co-written by their fellow alum, Terry Jones.
“Just by its farcical nature, this movie lent itself to those guys,” producer Chris Chesser told Entertainment Weekly (EW) back in January 2012.
“As of this moment, Williams has officially signed on to play a dog that at times seems wiser than all the humans and otherworldly creatures around him,” EW reported at the time. “Though Jones hasn’t narrowed down the wry pooch’s breed just yet, he is thinking a canny Jack Russell might be a good fit.”
Medavoy told BuzzFeed News he understands why Williams’ death has broken the hearts of people both in and out of show business.
“There’s a reason why so many people have rallied [around him],” he said. “A lot of people in the business really liked him.”
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