Austin Powers (film series)

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Austin Powers
Austin Powers logo.png
Series logo
Directed by Jay Roach
Produced by
Written by
Starring
Music by George S. Clinton
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release dates
1997-2002
Country United States
Language English
Budget $112.5 million
Box office $676.3 million

The Austin Powers series is a series of three American action-comedy films: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) and Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002). The films were directed by Jay Roach; produced, written by and starring Mike Myers as both the title character and Dr. Evil; and distributed by New Line Cinema.

The franchise parodies numerous James Bond, Derek Flint, Matt Helm, and Jason King, films, characters, and incorporates myriad other elements of popular culture as it follows a British spy's quest to bring his nemesis down. The character represents an archetype of 1960s Swinging London, with his advocacy for free love, his use of obscure impressions and his clothing style.

The films poke fun at the outrageous plots, rampant sexual innuendo, and two-dimensional stock characters characteristically associated with 1960s spy films, as well as the cliché of the ultra-suave super spy. Contrary to the handsome, super-smooth leading men of the James Bond genre, Austin Powers is not conventionally attractive (he is especially known for his bad teeth), although female characters in the films seem to find him irresistible.

The general theme of the films is that the arch-villain Dr. Evil plots to extort large sums of money from governments or international bodies but is constantly thwarted by Powers, and (to a degree) his own inexperience with life and culture in the 1990s. In the first film, Austin and Dr. Evil are awakened after being cryogenically frozen for 30 years. Continuing to incorporate cultural elements of the 1960s and 1970s, the second and third films feature time travel as a plot device and deliberately overlook inconsistencies. A fourth film, Austin Powers 4, has reportedly been in development since 2005, but has yet to be produced as of 2016.

Development[edit]

Myers himself has stated in interviews that the idea for Austin Powers came to him one night while driving home from ice hockey practice. Hearing the song "The Look of Love" by Burt Bacharach on his car radio, he wondered "Where have all the swingers gone?" and conceived the character who would become Austin Powers.

The first phrase he thought the character might say was "Do I make you horny?" which later did indeed become a catch phrase for the character. He has also disclosed that the character also draws on his recollections of former Radio Caroline DJ Simon Dee who hosted the first real TV chat show in the United Kingdom in 1967 which ended with his driving off in a sports car with a young blonde in the passenger seat. An important inspiration for the series is British super spy James Bond. Myers said of Bond, "I can't even tell you how huge it was in our house ... That's really why I wanted to do Austin Powers. Austin Powers is out of pure love for James Bond".[1]

Though Myers is Canadian by birth, his parents are natives of Liverpool, England, and Myers holds dual nationality. Although the films parody the plots and characters of 1960s spy movies, and the Swinging London fashion scene of the era, the humour is influenced by Myers's British heritage, particularly the Carry On films and the comedic works of Benny Hill and Peter Sellers, of the latter of whom Myers is a self-confessed fan of (his favorite films being the Bond spoof Casino Royale and The Party).[2]

Austin Powers is everything I watched [on TV in the late sixties]. My parents were from Liverpool, and there's no one more English than an Englishman who no longer lives there. Every molecule of British culture that came across the Atlantic was tasted and worshipped.

— Mike Myers.[2]

Influences from Sellers' films are apparent throughout the series; the character of Austin Powers reflects the inspiration of Sellers' portrayal of the character Roger Danvers in the 1970 film There's a Girl in My Soup. Powers' dandyish appearance can also be shown to have been inspired by that of the fictional Jason King – the adventurous character from the ITV Spy-fi series Department S who was featured in the eponymous spin-off series.

Other obviously-apparent influences are The Beatles films, The Monkees television series, James Bondage, and the "cocktail party" skits from Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.

Cast and characters[edit]

List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates the character did not appear in the film.
Character Film
International Man of Mystery (1997) The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) Goldmember (2002)
Austin Powers Mike Myers
Doctor Evil
Basil Exposition Michael York
Number 2 Robert Wagner
Frau Farbissina Mindy Sterling
Scott Evil Seth Green
Vanessa Kensington Elizabeth Hurley  
Number 2 in 1969   Rob Lowe
Mini-Me   Verne Troyer
Fat Bastard   Mike Myers
Mrs. Kensington Mimi Rogers  
Felicity Shagwell   Heather Graham  
Foxxy Cleopatra   Beyoncé Knowles
Nigel Powers   Michael Caine
Number 3   Fred Savage
Goldmember   Mike Myers
Young Austin Powers   Aaron Himelstein
Young Doctor Evil   Josh Zuckerman
Young Basil Exposition   Eddie Adams
Young Number 2   Evan Farmer
Young Nigel Powers   Scott Aukerman

Crew[edit]

Year Film Director Producer(s) Writer(s) Composer Cinematogapher Editor(s)
1997 Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery Jay Roach Mike Myers, Demi Moore, Jennifer Todd and Suzanne Todd Mike Myers George S. Clinton Peter Deming Debra Neil-Fisher and Dawn Hoggatt
1999 Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Mike Myers, Eric McLeod, Demi Moore, Jennifer Todd and Suzanne Todd Mike Myers and Michael McCullers Ueli Steiger Debra Neil-Fisher and Jon Poll
2002 Austin Powers in Goldmember Peter Deming Greg Hayden and Jon Poll

Cars[edit]

Powers' "Shaguar"

The series featured two cars–number plates "SWINGER" and "SWINGER2" and collectively dubbed the "Shaguars"–that were portrayed by a 1961 Jaguar E-Type and a 2001 XK8 convertible, with a Union Jack paint scheme. The Ministry of Defence creates two cars to transport Powers through time: a psychedelic-rainbow painted 1999 Volkswagen "New Beetle" convertible in the second film, and a purple 1975 Cadillac Eldorado Fleetwood "pimpmobile" (number plate "SWNGR 3") in the third.

Additionally, Felicity Shagwell drives a 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray with an American flag paint scheme in the second film and Nigel Powers has a 2001 Mini Cooper – able to travel underwater, and which bears the number plate "GR8SHAG" – in the third.

Reception[edit]

Box office performance[edit]

Film Release date Box office revenue Box office ranking Budget Reference
United States Foreign Worldwide All time domestic All time worldwide
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery May 2, 1997 $53,883,989 $13,800,000 $67,683,989 #1,171 $16,500,000 [3]
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me June 11, 1999 $206,040,086 $105,976,772 $312,016,858 #119
#152[a]
#257 $33,000,000 [4]
Austin Powers in Goldmember July 26, 2002 $213,307,889 $83,347,542 $296,655,431 #110
#188(A)
#283 $63,000,000 [5]
Total $473,231,964 $203,124,314 $676,356,278 $112,500,000
  1. ^ Adjusted totals based on current ticket prices by Box Office Mojo.

The films' distribution rights were transferred to Warner Bros. in 2008.

Critical reaction[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery 70% (60 reviews)[6] 51 (25 reviews)[7]
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me 51% (85 reviews)[8] 59 (34 reviews)[9]
Austin Powers in Goldmember 54% (182 reviews)[10] 62 (34 reviews)[11]

Media[edit]

Films[edit]

The series consists of three films:

Games[edit]

Video games
Other

Future[edit]

HBO purchased the rights to produce a cartoon series based on the Austin Powers films in 1999. Despite announcing plans for a thirteen episode season, HBO ultimately shelved the project.[12][13][14]

In October 2005, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Mike Myers discussed the possibility of studio sources moving forward with a fourth film. "There is hope!". "We're all circling and talking to each other. I miss doing the characters."[15] In May 2007, in an interview with IGN, "So no more Austin Powers?" was asked, and Myers replied, "No, no, there is a fully conceived idea for a fourth and I can just say that it's from Dr. Evil's point of view. So if you balanced how much of it was Austin with Dr. Evil, it's more about Dr. Evil than Austin."[16]

In May 2007, at the Shrek the Third première, Mike Myers announced that a fourth Austin Powers film was planned, but that it would focus more on Dr. Evil rather than Austin. He also said that he'd start work on it after he started work on The Love Guru, which became a box office bomb.[17]

In February 2008, it was announced that Jay Roach would return as director. In April 2008, it was reported that Gisele Bündchen had been offered a role in the film.[18] In June 2008, in an interview, when asked about another Austin Powers film, Myers stated, "I have an idea, and again it's one of those things that will emerge or it won't."[19] In July 2008, Mike Myers stated that he had begun writing Austin Powers 4, and that the plot is "really about Dr. Evil and his son."[20]

In March 2010, Jay Roach indicated to MTV that Myers is working on ideas for a fourth film.[21][22] In August 2011, Mike Myers revealed he would return, and had begun writing a script for a fourth installment.[23] In September 2013, when asked about the future of Austin Powers, Myers answered "I'm still figuring that out."[24] As of 2016, Austin Powers 4 has yet to be produced. In an August 2016 telephone interview, Mike Myers stated "Everything is being negotiated and worked out and all that stuff" in regards to the fourth installment of the Austin Powers film series.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007. Passion Pictures / Red Box Films. 2014-01-05. 
  2. ^ a b John Storey (2010). "Culture and Power in Cultural Studies: The Politics of Signification". p. 60. Edinburgh University Press
  3. ^ "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  4. ^ "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  5. ^ "Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  6. ^ "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  7. ^ "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. 2012-09-17. 
  8. ^ "Austin Powers: the Spy Who Shagged Me". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  9. ^ "Austin Powers: the Spy Who Shagged Me". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  10. ^ "Austin Powers in Goldmember". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  11. ^ "Austin Powers in Goldmember". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  12. ^ Kaplan, Don (1999-05-04). "YEAH, BABY! HBO SINKS TEETH INTO 'AUSTIN POWERS' CARTOON". The New York Post. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  13. ^ Seiler, Andy (1999-06-21). "The spy who won't go away HBO will animate 'Austin Powers,' and a third movie is expected". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  14. ^ Ressner, Jeffrey (1999-06-21). "Cinema: Austin's Power". Time. Retrieved 2010-12-04. 
  15. ^ "Mike Myers may return to ''Austin Powers''". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2015-04-26. 
  16. ^ "IGN: Interview: Mike Myers and Antonio Banderas". IGN. Retrieved 2015-04-26. 
  17. ^ Adler, Shawn (8 May 2007). "Mike Myers Revives Dr. Evil, Plus Kirsten Dunst, 'High School Musical' & More, In Movie File". MTV. Retrieved 2015-04-26. 
  18. ^ Orange, B. Alan (14 April 2008). "Is Gisele Bundchen the Next 'Austin Powers' Girl?". Movieweb.com. Retrieved 2015-04-26. 
  19. ^ "Mike Myers on Love Guru, Shrek 4, Austin 4 and Wayne's World". Latino Review. Retrieved 2015-04-26. 
  20. ^ "Mike Myers is Writing Austin Powers 4". Slashfilm. Retrieved 2015-04-26. 
  21. ^ "Fourth 'Austin Powers' Movie Will Go 'Somewhere You Haven't Though Of,' Jay Roach Says". MTV. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  22. ^ "Mike Myers Revives Dr. Evil". MTV. Retrieved 2007-05-09. 
  23. ^ "Exclusive: Mike Myers is signed, sealed, delivered for 'Austin Powers 4'". Hitfix. Retrieved 2015-04-26. 
  24. ^ "Toronto: Fleming Q&A's Mike Myers On 'Supermensch' Directorial Debut". Deadline. Retrieved September 16, 2013. 
  25. ^ The Canadian Press (25 August 2016). "Mike Myers talks 'Wayne's World,' the Leafs, 'Austin Powers'". The Chronicle Herald. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 

External links[edit]