Drew at Hitfix broke the story that Mike Meyers would be returning to Austin Powers, probably the most iconic (live action) role of his career. Aside from a bit part in Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds and a fourth go-round as Shrek, Myers has been largely absent from the big screen these past few years. It's therefore not entirely unsurprising that he'd go back to the well for his grand return.
On Saturday, Deadline chimed in saying it wasn't all quite a done deal just yet. Set the Wayback machine for 2008: Myers is planning on writing and starring in a Powers spinoff centered around Dr. Evil and his relationship with his son Scotty (Seth Green). Fatherhood has actually played a pretty major recurring role throughout the series, which is unsurprising considering that Myers created the snaggle-toothed swinger as an homage to his own father's love of British spy movies. Needless to say, New Line was on board and the script went into development.
Then The Love Guru happened.
Cut to sometime in the last 6-12 months. (Deadline is pretty unclear on the timing here.) New Line makes Myers an understandably lowball upfront offer on a fourth Powers movie and are greeted with a resounding silence. Last week, reps for Myers reached out to New Line, saying that Myers was suddenly interested again, although it was unclear if that interest was in the Dr. Evil movie or a new Powers-centric movie. Hitfix hasn't really responded to Deadline's claim that Drew jumped the gun, and they've yet to amend the original story, so exactly what's gone down still seems to be up for debate.
Either way, I can't help but wonder who wants to see another Austin Powers movie. Even if the deal has been signed, it'll still be over ten years between films and no one really seems to be missing the franchise. I also think it's hard to argue that the movies didn't seriously decline in quality/originality with each entry, which is coincidentally the same criticism I'd level against the Shrek movies. Sure, there's the opportunity to make a big shift by taking on the Bourne and Daniel Craig-starring Bond movies, but I would be shocked if Myers actually chose to take that route. Instead I expect to see Myers obscured by a truckload of latex and to hear yet a new variation on the "Shhhh" joke.