Hollywood is a strange beast — projects come and go every day with a chance to bankrupt everyone but make one or two people a lot of money. This leads to the high demand for sequels, further installments that no one asked for in franchises that should have stopped either after the first film, or even before the pen hit the page. Another ‘Austin Powers‘ hits this sweet spot perfectly, as Mike Myers is about to accept what is likely a huge sum to return in a fourth installment in the spy spoof series, according to HitFix.
Everything about this career move reeks of desperation for Myers, who last crashed and burned in 2008 with “The Love Guru.” While he created various catchphrase-heavy characters from the three ‘Austin Powers’ films, his attempt to launch the vaguely offensive Pitka into the atmosphere failed miserably. Since then, he’s retreated into the easy paychecks of the “Shrek” world and surfacing in a still-peculiar cameo in “Inglourious Basterds.” Hungry for a hit, but still with too much ego to try the character-actor bit, Myers is resurrecting a one-joke concept that wore itself thin halfway through the first movie in this blockbuster series, the last of which grossed nearly $300 million worldwide. Who are you people?
No word on what the plot might entail, but we’re sure that there’s got to be a fresh-spin on the ’60s-spy-unfrozen concept planned. Since ‘Goldmember,’ James Bond has been successfully rebooted, and, on a smaller scale, the ‘Powers’ style was already perfected by Jean Dujardin in the brilliant ‘OSS 117‘ films, so where else do you take him? The guess is they follow the steps of another stuck-in-the-’90s franchise “Men In Black” and heavily employ time travel. Oh, and you can absolutely bet this will be in 3D.
Even with Myers’ involvement, and the popularity of the ‘Powers’ films as catalog titles, it’s hard to see how this is going to be an A-List offering. What does seem likely is that Jay Roach, who directed each installment, won’t be back, though this is unconfirmed. If they couldn’t lure him back into the fold for “Little Fockers,” what chance do they have bringing him on to extend this single joke far past the breaking point? We do look forward to Fat Bastard fumbling with an iPhone, or Mini-Me getting stuck on some sort of conveyor belt. We also look forward to the cold, cold release of death.