Mel Brooks is finally delivering on a long-awaited promise — one fans have been looking forward to for forty years, in fact. Variety reports that Hulu is currently developing a sequel series to History of the World, Part I, the comedian’s 1981 historical spoof starring Dom DeLuise, Gregory Hines, and Madeline Kahn (among others), parodying epic Hollywood spectaculars of old.
The series, appropriately titled History of the World, Part II, will feature Brooks not only as an executive producer — alongside Nick Kroll, Wanda Sykes, Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen, and Kevin Salter — but as a writer, making it the ninety-five-year-old’s first project since 2009. The writer’s room for the eight-episode series is set to begin this month, with production slated to begin in the spring of 2022, serving as a direct sequel to the 1981 film.
“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 statement.
The sequel series spawns from a joke originally presented at the end of Part I, a mock teaser trailer promising sequences like “Hitler on Ice” and a Viking funeral. Whether those ideas will be picked up by the series or discarded in favor of new ideas, no one knows, but whatever comes will likely be just as bombastic as the original, which covered the Stone Age, the Old Testament of the Bible, Ancient Rome, the Spanish Inquisition, and the French Revolution, featuring cameos from stars like Bea Arthur, John Hurt, and Sid Caesar, for whom Brooks wrote for at the very beginning of his comedy career.
At ninety-five, it is unlikely that Brooks will appear in the same on-screen capacity he did on film — playing five separate roles — but stranger things have happened, particularly in the world of his films.
History of the World, Part I, largely considered a flop upon its release despite having earned $31.7 million, quickly garnered the same cult status as the rest of Brooks’ filmography, including its immediate predecessor, High Anxiety. Originally, the film was intentionally left without a sequel, with the title being a play on Sir Walter Raleigh’s The History of the World, Volume 1, which remained forever unfinished after he was executed at the Tower of London in 1618. That joke seems to be moot, now, however, as the film finally receives what may just be the most highly anticipated sequel in film and television history.