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Austin Powers 4 - Will It Ever Happen?

Every couple of years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, filmgoers were whisked away to an idealized 1960s and 1970s, courtesy of an "Austin Powers" movie. A spoof of action-packed, brightly-colored, highly politically incorrect super-spy franchises like "James Bond," the series stars "Saturday Night Live" and "Wayne's World" luminary Mike Myers as Austin Powers, an audaciously randy British secret agent. Whether unfrozen in the modern age or whisked back to the mid-20th century, Austin remains unwavering in his mission to "shag" as often as possible and stop supervillain Dr. Evil (also Myers) from taking over the world.

With Myers playing plenty more roles and generating numerous catchphrases, the "Austin Powers" trilogy — "International Man of Mystery," "The Spy Who Shagged Me," and "Goldmember" — raked in box office fortunes and delighted crowds. So why didn't the franchise continue with a fourth "Austin Powers" movie? It's a pretty groovy story.

Why isn't Austin Powers 4 happening yet?

Talk about a fourth "Austin Powers" movie began in earnest in 2005. "There is hope! We're all circling and talking to each other. I miss doing the characters," star and screenwriter Mike Myers told Entertainment Weekly. "I don't like to work a lot," he added. Since 2005, Myers has indeed devoted his carefully allotted time to just a few major projects: Supporting roles, voicing Shrek, and spearheading "The Pentaverate" and "The Love Guru." The latter project seemingly took over the entertainer's attention, as it came out in 2008, not long after Myers told MTV News he'd started writing an "Austin Powers 4" script.

As of 2010, Myers had not made much headway on the screenplay. He and director Jay Roach have consistently and actively discussed the project for years, yet they don't seem to have found a central idea worth pursuing. "We talk about it once a month," Roach told MovieWeb in 2020, "but until we know what it specifically wants to be ... We don't have a specific plan for anything right now."

What have the cast and crew said about Austin Powers 4?

No fourth "Austin Powers" movie could happen without Mike Myers, who co-wrote the screenplays of all the other movies in the series and portrayed the titular character, the villainous Dr. Evil, and a few other roles too. "I root for it to come back, and so does Mike," Jay Roach told MovieWeb in 2020. "We all have for a long time, it's just always been, when the right story comes up and we know what it is, and that's pretty much up to Mike." Myers is at least warm to the concept of "Austin Powers 4," but hasn't yet committed to actually making the movie. "I would love to do one," he told "The Jess Cagle Podcast" (via MovieWeb) in 2022. "I can neither confirm nor deny the existence or non-existence of such a project." On the red carpet for "Amsterdam" a few months later (via Fox4 KDFW), Myers said, in regards to a new sequel, "I'm gonna put a big, firm, written maybe on that."

According to Seth Green, three-time portrayer of Dr. Evil's embittered son Scott Evil, it doesn't seem like an "Austin Powers 4" is anywhere close to development. "No, there's no truth to it. There hasn't been. It's at least six or seven years ago since the last time I heard anything," Green told The Observer in 2020.

What could be explored in Austin Powers 4?

The premise of all three "Austin Powers" movies rests upon a fish-out-of-water scenario brought about by advanced technology. So far, Austin has been thawed from a cryogenic state and traveled back in time (twice!), all in pursuit of Dr. Evil and other villains. "Austin Powers 4" would likely continue the tradition, either sending hero and villain into a cartoonish version of a bygone era, or possibly into the future.

But "Austin Powers 4" doesn't necessarily have to be another entry in the continuing story — it could be a spin-off, or focus on a character Mike Myers and Jay Roach think deserves greater detail. "We've been trying to think up an idea that could earn a fourth film for a long time," Roach told The Independent in 2019, "but it's always up to Mike. He and I always thought there was more to do with Dr. Evil." That villain is an absolute scene-stealer in the first three "Austin Powers" movies, and an origin story about his rise to mega-villainy offers many possibilities. "We always had ideas of revealing a whole life that he had that would have taken his character much further," Roach explained. But any Dr. Evil movie may be a non-starter, owing to the death of Verne Troyer, who played Dr. Evil's clone and right-hand man, Mini-Me. "To be honest, I don't know how we'd do it without Verne," Roach admitted.

Who would star in Austin Powers 4?

As Mike Myers conceived the character Austin Powers and co-wrote the screenplays for all three existing "Austin Powers" movies, it's extremely likely he'd star in a fourth film. He'd likely also play multiple characters; Myers has previously portrayed Austin, Dr. Evil, Fat Bastard, and Goldmember. But who would star alongside him?

"Austin Powers" spoofs the "James Bond" series, and like that venerable franchise, it consistently features a female spy who acts as a love interest for Austin. "Austin Powers 4" would probably feature a new actress, following the likes of Heather Graham (Felicity Shagwell), Beyoncé (Foxxy Cleopatra), and Elizabeth Hurley (Vanessa Kensington). However, even though her character perishes at the beginning of "The Spy Who Shagged Me," Hurley is up to reunite with Myers. "Mike is a genius," she told People. "It would be wonderful to do something with him again." 

As far as the primary (and surviving) cast members of the original films go, Seth Green (Scott Evil), Mindy Sterling (Frau Farbissina), Robert Wagner (older Number Two), and Rob Lowe (younger Number Two) are all still working actors. Here's hoping they'd be down for another trip to Austin Powers' groovy universe.

Other Austin Powers projects that did and didn't happen

While a full-length, theatrically-released "Austin Powers 4" has yet to happen, the super-spy's comedic saga has continued in other media. In 2022, General Motors staged a reunion of the "Austin Powers" series' villains in a Super Bowl commercial touting electric vehicles. Dr. Evil, played by Mike Myers, is joined by Scott Evil (Seth Green), Frau Farbissina (Mindy Sterling), and Number Two (Rob Lowe). He realizes that if he's to take over the world, he better help save it by using cleaner energy sources — this, he seizes control of General Motors and their new green cars.

Meanwhile, just before the 1999 theatrical debut of "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me," distributor New Line Cinema worked out a deal to produce an animated small-screen spin-off series for HBO. But even though Myers was rumored to be part of the project in some capacity, the cartoon never entered production.