When the surviving members of Monty Python reunited to celebrate their 40th anniversary with a documentary that aired on IFC in 2009, that was a Monty Python reunion.

When they lent their voices to a documentary about the late Graham Chapman last year, that was a Python reunion of sorts, though not a new Monty Python project itself.

Now that most of them are participating in a new Terry Jones film? Not a Python project.

As Eric Idle explained to fans today via his Twitter @EricIdle: “I’m not “Not in a Python film”. I’m not in a Terry Jones film. If you can’t see the difference then you should probably lie down for a bit.”

Jones is directing a sci-fi movie, Absolutely Anything, that will blend CGI and live action, along with voices from John Cleese, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam. Idle isn’t signed on for this.

Idle wrote today on his personal site that he did have an idea back in 1997 for a true Monty Python movie that would have reunited the legendary British comedy troupe for one more go.

“There’s been a lot of silly talk about Python re-unions, and whether a few Pythons doing a few Voice Overs constitute a genuine Monty Python film (duh, of course not) so I thought I’d share what happened the last time there was a real attempt to make a Python Movie.  It was in 1997 and I had come up with an idea called The Final Crusade.  I liked the idea of a film about a group of grumpy old men being pressured to get back together again for a last quest, as it would allow us to mock ourselves.  So I sent them all a draft outline of what such a thing might look like. (See Previous Blog.) Surprisingly there was a very positive response, even from John, so I went down to visit him in Santa Barbara and we had a splendid lunch and then a walk on the beach, and he expressed genuine interest in the idea, enough to encourage everyone to meet up in England.  Unfortunately by the time we all got together at a hotel in Buckinghamshire he had changed his mind.”

“When I got back I wrote about it for PythOnline, and here is what I published then.”