It has been fifteen years since #AustinPowers was last seen in theaters, yet the International Man of Mystery and his outlandish co-stars (heroic and otherwise) remain as popular as ever.
With the resurgence of the spy genre in recent years, Austin Powers star Mike Myers and mainstay director Jay Roach have expressed their desire to bring cinema's grooviest spy back to the big screen, giving audiences another glimpse at Austin Danger Powers' signature mojo.
Austin Powers: 20 Years Later
While talking with The Hollywood Reporter about the 20 year legacy of the Austin Powers trilogy, Roach confirmed that he and Myers have been talking about a potential fourth entry. A reason for the years-long delay was due in part to the decision of both men to only start production on the fourth Austin Powers movie when they felt that they had the perfect idea.
"We have also always said we don't want to do it unless we came up with something that lived up to the concepts in our mind. Until Mike feels like he has a concept that earns a fourth, it won't happen. But if it did, we have all agreed that we would be delighted to get back into it."
There were plans for a fourth Austin Powers that go as far back as 2011, but nothing concrete has materialized outside of Mike Myers signing up to join the sequel.
Another cause of the delays were Myers' own personal reasons. To cope with his father's passing in 1991, Myers wrote the script for what would become the first Austin Powers movie, which was released in 1997. He and his father loved spy movies and actors such as Peter Sellers, and Myers' parody of films like Casino Royale (1967) was his tribute to his father. Because of this, Myers is cautious of the franchise's legacy.
"I would love to do another, but you just have to see. I was devastated by my father's death. But to have that turn into something that makes people happy is unbelievably satisfying. It's that kind of stuff you never get used to or get tired of."
The Austin Powers movies may be known for their raunchy humor and crazy antics, but it's hard to deny that Myers' personal connection to the trilogy has a lot more to it.
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Austin Powers 4: Bringing Back The Spy Genre's Mojo
Thanks to The Bourne Identity and the successful #JamesBond reboot Casino Royale in 2006, spy movies became popular once again, but there was one problem for some old-school fans: the new spy movies took themselves too seriously.
Gone were the campy villains hellbent on world domination, the wacky gadgets and the charisma of old spy movies. In its place were parallels to real-world events and terrorists, a grounded sense of gritty realism, and a bloated sense of self-importance.
These contemporary spy movies were more intent on deconstructing the genre than being the pulpy espionage missions their predecessors once were.
While they have enjoyable moments, recent Bond and Bourne movies have become so popular that they are becoming indistinguishable from other modern action movies. This became most apparent when James Bond movies (especially Quantum of Solace) began imitating the Bourne series, despite the latter being inspired by the former. Because of this, the modern spy movie was slowly losing its individuality.
To this day, Austin Powers remains one of the most well-known parodies of all time, and for good reason. The character was a wonderfully self-aware parody of secret agents, British stereotypes and 1960s promiscuity. As a character, Powers knew how to make fun of everyone (himself included), all in the name of entertaining audiences.
Of course, the same can be said for the nefarious Dr. Evil (Mike Myers) and his troupe of hammy yes-men.
Mike Myers was a big name throughout the '90s, and fans would love to see him make a comeback. Revisiting one of his most famous characters could be the key to success beyond the ongoing Shrek franchise, and could even give new life to the hugely successful comedy series.