Saturday, August 13, 2011

Lone Ranger DIES, Austin Powers LIVES

GOOD NEWS! Disney's megabuget update of "The Lone Ranger," which had sounded like an impending disaster of "Green Lantern" proportions pretty-much from the beginning (it was to be a "reworking" of the franchise from "Pirates" director Gore Verbinski which focused primarily on Tonto, to be played by - of course - Johnny Depp, with the Ranger himself as the supporting-character) has fallen apart. Deadline reports that the problem was primarily one of budget - Disney is nervous about how much "John Carter" and Sam Raimi's "Wizard of Oz" prequel are costing right now - but you can almost-certainly thank the lackluster performance of "Cowboys & Aliens" for nudging this one into the abyss.

BAD NEWS! Lemme blow your mind right now: It has been A DECADE since "Austin Powers: Goldmember;" and thus a decade since Austin Powers has appeared in movie theaters. Well, that's about to change: HitFix's Drew McWeeny has the big scoop that Mike Meyers has signed on to ressurect the character for a fourth film. I wonder... do people remember that the original "Austin Powers" actually dissapointed in theaters and didn't become a massive smash until it hit video-rental?


I'll be honest - the prospect of returning to "Austin Powers" is morbidly fascinating to me, because of the bizzare way the character has been served by the popular culture. In the first film, part of the "joke" was that Austin's mid-60s libertinism was as "lame" in 1997 as the mod fashion and Bond-era spy trappings he came bundled with... but only two years later the 60s were "chic" again and the 2nd and 3rd films went from bagging on Powers and his era to outright celebrating them. It's almost a precursor to "Mad Men" (and now "Pan Am" and "Playboy Club") in that regard.

Meanwhile, it's now been so long for the series itself that the Clinton-era "end of history" ironic-optimism that was treated as a kind of utopian ideal for Austin himself to evolve up to in the first film looks today every bit as dated and naive as Austin's "original" era. There's an opportunity for meta-humor there; though I don't imagine that's where this is going.

12 comments:

A Traveler said...

I expect a long list of poorly delivered dick jokes and other euphemism montage. A low bar yet everyone (myself included) will be seeing it. Damn nostalgia.

Unknown said...

Ten to one the new guest villain is a middle-rash send up. He has "smoking hashish" jokes, his threat videos are getting negative comments on YouTube, and that makes him mad, and he's played by Meyers.

Or they do a caribbean villain who casts voodoo spells that always turn into dick jokes. And Meyers does blackface.

That was easy. I would like ten million dollars please.

Unknown said...

Rather, middle-east send up.

biomechanical923 said...

Somehow I don't see Austin Powers doing very well in today's market. The original demographic has grown up a bit, and gag bits that were "funny and edgy" in 2000 are going to look corny and tired now.

I just feel bad that offbeat characters is really all Mike Myers has to do, and his new creations (the Love Guru) totally flopped.

I think it would be much cooler if he teamed up with Dana Carvey and did some sort of "Wayne's World 20 Years Later" thing

biomechanical923 said...

Here's the premise: Wayne and Garth have grown up and settled down. They enter their mid-life crises by having to deal with the fact that rock bands like Aerosmith, Judas Priest, and Queen are now considered Classic Rock and played on work radio.

Sofie Liv Pedersen said...

Not to mention, inside of the movie.. the last movie wrapped stuff kind of up.

doctor evil turned good, Fat bastard lamented his mistakes.

Are we now going to have a whole film with Doctor evil acting as Austin Powers confused formerly evil brother? Is anyone even going to be able to watch that without panning their head against something?

Matt said...

"I just feel bad that offbeat characters is really all Mike Myers has to do, and his new creations (the Love Guru) totally flopped."

Yeah, I feel bad about it too... but that's always been his schtick. Even his SNL stuff was all just about making absurd recurring characters out of stereotypes. I really wouldn't mind a second Wayne's World sequel though... just because I like those characters and I think they could do more with them than any other of Mike Meyer's characters.

I just have a really bad feeling that this is going to be an "in the future" Austin Powers movie. The last three were close enough together that Austin Powers didn't have to age much in "the present", but if they wanted to have some part of it set now, that would mean he has 10 years coming to terms with the differences between the 60s and now. He would have had to become accustomed to the present, thus losing most of his character. So they might have to pick it up where they left off and "bring" him to 2012, or go futher into the future to get rid of characters whose actors won't want to do the sequel, or go back to that past, something they've done twice before. It just seems like the future will be the most "fresh" idea... and I fear that the future Mike Meyers comes up with will be not very different from the future every comedy sci-fi filmmaker came up with in the 80s... hover-boards and Styrofoam clothing where everything is sterile.

Adam said...

Yeah, I never really "got" Austin Powers. Sure I enjoyed the original premise well enough, but after two movies that was pretty much all I needed to see. I never saw Goldmember and even now I have no real desire to. A new movie? I'm with the other commentators. I just don't know what else they could do with the character at this point.

Reverend Allan Ironside said...

Goldmember was shit. Why inflict that on us?

lordy said...

Didn't Doctor Evil's son, Scotty, swear vengeance and all sorts of evil deeds at the end of the last film? Maybe Seth Green as the villian?

David (The Pants) said...

The kid in me says "fucking finally" just because when I was like 12 and watching Goldmember with my friend, we were sure that there was a 4th movie being made.

And yes, lordy, yes he did.

CraftyAndy said...

fucking shoot me.