Forty years after Mel Brooks's History of the World, Part I hit theaters, the filmmaker has finally decided to make a History of the World, Part II. While the original was a feature film that played out as a series of interconnected vignettes, the sequel will be a full-on TV series, airing on the streaming platform. Production will begin in early 2022, likely targeting a late 2022/early 2023 release date for the series. Brooks is set to write and executive produce. It is not clear whether the series will take the approach of recent high-profile TV projects like WandaVision and Peacemaker, where one person directs most episodes.
At the time, the title was actually a gag. There were no plans for History of the World, Part II at all, with the title being a riff on Sir Walter Raleigh's The History of the World, which was intended as a definitive history of the world, and was added to in the years following its initial publication by Raleigh and numerous other authors.
Variety reports that Nick Kroll, Wanda Sykes, Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen and Kevin Salter will produce the series along with Brooks. There are no official plot details yet, although...y'know. History.
It isn't yet clear whether Brooks himself will return as an actor, although a brief cameo (and a reprise of his iconic line "It's good to be king") seems likely. Drawing on some of the greatest comedians of the era, Brooks assembled a cast that averaged a little older than the average Hollywood blockbuster, with stars like Sid Caesar, Dom DeLuise, and Henny Youngman, with narration by Orson Welles.
Shecky Greene, Barry Levinson, and Brooks himself are among the only surviving members of the original film's cast. Greene, who played Marcus Vindictus in the film, was inducted into the Comedy Hall of Fame in 2020, but has not had an on-screen credit since 2000, excepting some brief appearances in documentaries. Levinson, who had a cameo appearance in History of the World, Part I, is best known not as an actor or comedian, but as a filmmaker. He has produced and directed movies like Rain Man, Wag the Dog, and Good Morning, Vietnam. He is currently working with Hulu on Dopesick, and with Paramount+ on Francis and the Godfather.
Brooks's other credits include comedy classics like Spaceballs, Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein. Late in his career, his directorial debut -- 1967's The Producers -- was adapted into a stage show that became a huge hit on Broadway. Brooks then helped adapt the stage show into a feature film which was directed by Susan Stroman.