It’s been almost a decade since Austin Powers in Goldmember hit theaters, and many wondered if this entry would be the final in the franchise. The James Bond spoofing series included some very clever and kooky characters including Dr. Evil, Fat Bastard, Mini Me, Felicity Shagwell, Goldmember, and others, many portrayed by Mike Myers.
The original was written by SNL alum Mike Myers as a tribute to his father, and it took only two weeks to write the original script. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery did decent numbers at the box office, bringing in $67 million worldwide, but it was a new technology emerging in 1997 that would catapult the movie into a mega hit.
In 1997, DVDs were just beginning to become the new hip trend causing people to leave their stale VHS tapes at Goodwills and in trash cans all across the country. The first Austin Powers popped up on DVD when the trend was surging, and sales of the film were huge. So huge in fact that what was seen by some as a lukewarm reception in theaters gained cult status in the home video realm.
With its bad puns and one-liners, silly sequences, and fish-out-of-water antics, Austin Powers became a hit with audiences on a larger scale than many ever imagined. So it stands to reason that a sequel was in order and in 1999 The Spy Who Shagged Me exploded at the box office, raking in $312 million worldwide. This was followed by the third installment in 2002, Goldmember, which brought in $296 worldwide.
Considered by many to Mike Myers’s greatest success – although I would like to say that I think Wayne’s World is a far better film than any of the Austin Powers movies – the final installment did leave hints about a fourth film, with Scott Evil seemingly taking over his father’s empire. There were rumors about a possible spin-off focusing on Dr. Evil only, but many felt that these characters were better off staying in the same universe together.
Here we are nearly a decade later and new Austin Powers has officially been announced. Is this cause for excitement, or are people getting sick and tired of sequels at this point? Granted, it would be interesting to see how Myers and writing partner Michael McCullers craft a story that both continues the series and introduces the uninitiated to the decades old franchise.
I also hope that director Jay Roach is onboard for #4, since it’s clear that he knows how to effectively bring the Austin Powers universe to life and keep the momentum going no matter how silly things get.
I guess one of the big questions would be whether or not the story would continue after the events that took place in Goldmember or would they show Powers in 2012? Would we buy Austin Powers still clueless about the modern world after he’s been part of it for a whole decade?
Another factor is the dark shadow that was cast over Myers thanks to the atrocious comedy The Love Guru. Guru was a hug disappointment on multiple levels and many felt that Myers should have put his efforts into writing Austin Powers #4 instead of this turkey of a movie. Will people forgive Myers for The Love Guru and give this next Austin Powers a shot?
What do you think? Is this an idea that gets you excited? Which of the Austin Powers films are your favorite? Favorite character? Leave a comment and let us know!