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20TH CENTURY STUDIOS

After 40 Years, Mel Brooks Is Finally Delivering ‘History Of The World, Part II’

As Hollywood becomes more and more about intellectual property, it’s no longer especially rare for movies to get sequels decades after the original. For a movie from the 1980s or ’90s to get a sequel now is practically to be expected at this point.

But what about a follow-up to a movie from 1981, finally being announced 40 years later?

Back in ’81, Mel Brooks made History of the World, Part I, an anthology comedy telling funny stories from throughout human history. It mocked prehistoric times, biblical times, the Roman Empire and, of course, the Spanish Inquisition:

The movie only got up to around the time of the French Revolution, before ending with “coming attractions” that included the suddenly relevant-again “Jews in Space.” But while Brooks never actually made a sequel, he’s finally doing it — albeit as a TV series — next year.

Hulu announced last week that it has picked up History of the World: Part II, as a series, to begin production next year. Brooks, who is now 95 years old, is an executive producer and writer, while the show has added an all-star team of writers that includes Nick Kroll, Wanda Sykes, Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen, and Kevin Salter.

“I can’t wait to once more tell the real truth about all the phony baloney stories the world has been conned into believing are History!,” Brooks said in a press release.

Brooks, despite his advanced age, has still got it. He frequently sits for interviews, and not only did he participate in the recent festival documentary The Automat, but he even wrote and sang an original song for it.

We don’t know yet which historical topics will be coming up or who will be appearing, but we can guess this is the sort of project that can cut through the noise of the new streaming reality. Because if Hulu had existed in the ’70s, the first History of the World may very well have been a streaming show and not a movie.

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