John Cleese signs up for Roman Polanski film 'The Palace'

Actor and comedian John Cleese speaks to members of the press on College Green outside the Houses of Parliament after he joined the group 'Hacked Off'.
John Cleese has apparently joined 'The Palace. (PA)

John Cleese is apparently set to star in controversial director Roman Polanski's new film.

The Fawlty Towers and Monty Python star, 82, is among the supporting cast of The Palace, reported Deadline.

The film - which also stars Mickey Rourke - is currently in production in Switzerland.

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Polanski, 88, has been surrounded in controversy after fleeing the US in 1978 over a sex offence.

The filmmaker had admitted to unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl and served 42 days in prison, but later fled to France amid fears that his plea deal would be rejected. He has been wanted in America ever since.

Film director Roman Polanski arrives at the Madeleine Church to attend a ceremony during a 'popular tribute' to late French singer and actor Johnny Hallyday in Paris, France, December 9, 2017.  REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Roman Polanski is working on a new film. (REUTERS/Charles Platiau)

The director has also faced further accusations since then.

Earlier this month, Rourke sparked a backlash after posting a long message on social media saying how good it was to work with Polanski.

The actor shared a picture on Instagram after a day working with the filmmaker - presumably on The Palace - saying that it had been "a great pleasure" and calling Polanski "legendary and talented".

"Working with such a director I feel is a great privilege his film has such integrity, style, class and unpredictability," he wrote.

“You know, working with the man who’s been in a film business nearly 60 yrs you can always learn something new. I usually do not have conversations with most directors but Roman Polanski is not just another director.

"Whatever suggestions he makes to me makes my job easier because of his years of experience and knowledge."

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“God bless the man, I can’t wait to do another film with him,” he added.

Some fans were unimpressed, and posted messages on social media criticising Rourke for signing up for the role.

Gomorrah actor Fortunato Cerlino, German actor Oliver Masucci and French actor Fanny Ardant are also among the cast of The Palace.

Polanski's other films include Rosemary's Baby and The Pianist.

Watch: John Cleese reveals why he would have to re-write Fawlty Towers in 2020