While we’re waiting for news on whether or not a fourth Austin Powers movie will get made, here’s some news about another project in development that will feature Mike Myers’ swinging super spy. The Hollywood Reporter brings us word that Myers is getting ready to write a stage musical featuring the character.
According to the Reporter the musical is a prequel to the film series and “will be set in 1960s London and detail how Powers first acquired his mighty mojo.” Myers will not be playing the character he made famous in a trilogy of movies that spoofed both the spy film genre and other films from the swinging psychedelic era of the 1960s.
Interestingly, it will be a jukebox musical – meaning that it will feature pre-existing pop songs, notably those from Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello. Myers has expressed a love for Bacharach’s music before, having given the composer a cameo in the first Austin Powers movie.
Colin Callender and Sonia Friedman will produce the play and supposedly Tony Award-winning The Book of Mormon co-director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw is in talks to direct.
Given the musical numbers that we’ve already seen in the films, a full blown Austin Powers stage musical doesn’t seem all that too far-fetched. I do have one concern, though. I found the first Austin Powers very funny, but the subsequent two movies suffered from retreading many jokes, leaving everything to feel too-familiar, tired and stale – three things you definitely don’t want in a comedy. Hopefully Myers will be able to inject some new energy into his writing for this project.
This could take a long time to actually get in front of the footlights. Stage shows are often written, workshopped and then rewritten a number of times before they’re ready to go into rehearsals. And that’s if the project isn’t found to have a fatal number of problems that can’t be fixed. The Book Of Mormon took about seven years of work before it hit the stage. Granted, some time may be saved by the use of pre-existing songs, but I still wouldn’t be lining up at the box office for tickets any time soon.