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Friday, 5 May, 2000, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Cleese makes internet history
John Cleese
Rabbiting on: John Cleese in Quantum Project
Funnyman John Cleese made history on Friday by appearing in the first major film produced exclusively for the internet.

The 60-year-old British actor, best known for his role as madcap Basil Fawlty in the sitcom Fawlty Towers, stars alongside Stephen Dorff in Quantum Project.

The movie, which cost $3m (1.9m) to make, lasts just 32 minutes and combines live action with computer animation and 3D effects.

Stephen Dorff
Heart-throb Stephen Dorff takes the wheel in Quantum Project

Billed as "the story of two electron-crossed lovers", it is directed by Oscar-winning Eugenio Zanetti.

Internet users across the world can download Quantum Project simultaneously by logging on to

Viewers will have to pay a charge of $3.95 (2.50), but the transaction is a purchase, not a rental.

In the movie, written by David Aaron Cohen (The Devil's Own), US heart-throb Dorff plays Paul Pentcho, a brilliant physicist who attempts to use science to find God.

Special effects

During his research he has visions of former lover Mia, played by Fay Masterson of Eyes Wide Shut fame and meets up with her again via a talking electron.

John Cleese
John Cleese takes five in the world's first internet movie, Quantum Project

Cleese plays Dorff's father, internet pioneer Alexander, who asks the same questions as his son and is ultimately lonely because of his work.

More attention is given to special effects than the plot, with quick-fire cuts and speeded-up scenes employed by Zanetti, who won his Academy Award as art director of Restoration. president Scott Sander said: "We are excited that Stephen, Fay and John and the entire production cast and crew have joined us in making movie history."

Quantum Project will take around 10 minutes to download with high-speed connections like DSL or cable, but users of 56K telecom modems may have to wait up to six hours.

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