Some reportage from Deadline is alleging that the deal isn’t signed at all and that New Line has been taken by surprise by the announcement.
The story starts with us rewinding back to July 2008. New Line, the producers of the previous Austin Powers films had extended an offer to Myers to do a fourth Austin Powers film with a story that would focus on the relationship between Dr. Evil (Myers) and his son Scott (Seth Green). The deal with reunite Myers with his Austin Powers sequels co-scripter Mike McCullers. But before work could begin on the script, Myers’ film The Love Guru came out and horribly bombed. Myers “went AWOL” and outside of a small role under heavy makeup for Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds.
But New Line was still interested in being in the Austin Powers business and about six months they extended a new offer to Myers for an Austin Powers 4. Granted it was not nearly as generous as his paycheck from Austin Powers: Goldmember but it was commiserate with where his career is now. According to Deadline, the deal was similar to the ones that Cameron Diaz and Jim Carrey for got for Bad Teacher and Mr. Popper’s Penguins. However, New Line heard nothing back from Myers’s reps until the story broke over the weekend.
Now keep in mind that this is coming from Deadline and Nikki Finke has been known to slant her coverage in favor of certain studios and against others, so there may be some motivations in this story that remain hidden right now.
So lots of things remain unclear at this point. Will Myers still be working his Dr. Evil idea from 2008 or will he be developing a new story with which to revive his Swinging 60s spy character? Will McCruller and franchise director Jay Roach be back? Will audiences care about a fourth Austin Powers film? Will we ever find out what is really going on?