Like the once-frozen body of its shag-happy hero, “Austin Powers 4″ has been in stasis for a while. Word of a fourth installment of the $473 million-grossing franchise first popped up (like machine gun jubblies, you might say) in May of 2007, when Mike Myers told MTV News that he’d started writing a script.
That was at the time “Shrek the Third” hit theaters. Three years later, as a new “Shrek” opened the Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday (April 21), there’s still been no concrete movement on “Austin Powers 4.” So what’s the hold up? Scheduling, Myers told us at the “Shrek” premiere.
“Things are on track,” he said. “It’s hard to keep a Stanley Cup team together and I’m very happy how insanely well it’s gone. Then it gets hard to get everybody all together.”
Schedules may be partly to blame, but it’s also unclear at this point if a finished script is in place. Deadline.com suggested in 2008 that Myers was pushing forward on the screenplay and that the box office bomb that was “The Love Guru” had not diminished New Line Cinema’s keenness to get back in the “Austin Powers” game. Yet when we talked to franchise director Jay Roach last month, he seemed to indicate a script wasn’t yet complete.
“[Mike Myers is] working on ideas for it, people are definitely talking about it and I’m all good for it,” Roach said.
Parse that statement however you will. And this one as well, from Myers at the Tribeca opening: “It’s chugging along.”
Right. If and when “Austin Powers 4″ does gear up, though, Myers has got one very strong idea for the direction he wants to go.
“I’d be very happy to do it in 7-D,” he said. “I can’t tell you exactly how it works. Actually, I left the plans for it in a bar and somebody saw it. But it’s very exciting.”