Thesp getting into Barris' 'Mind'
NEW YORK — Just as New Line greenlights the sequel to “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” with Mike Myers and Heather Graham (“Boogie Nights”), Myers has completed two new deals with Warner Bros.
He’ll play Shaggy in “Scooby-Doo” and then “Gong Show” host Chuck Barris in the adaptation of the gameshow magnate’s memoirs “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.”
Myers, who cracked the $10 million salary mark when he signed a deal with Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer to write and star in a film version of “Sprockets,” will earn slightly more than that for the “Powers” sequel, which has a $30 million budget, a November start date and an expected June release as a major summer entry for New Line.
Myers will earn the same for “Scooby Doo” and “Mind,” the latter of which is Barris’s strange tale of how he created and hosted TV gameshows as an excuse to travel the world as a CIA assassin who perma-nently gonged evildoers.
“Austin Powers II” marks the second Myers-created franchise to hatch a sequel, following his “Wayne’s World” comedies for Paramount. In the first “Powers,” the international man of mystery proved himself a man of domestic means as the low-budget comedy about the cryogenically frozen secret agent grossed $54 million in U.S. receipts. The sequel was scripted by Myers and Michael McCullers, with “Powers” director Jay Roach returning.
New Line has hired Graham to play the female lead role of Felicity Shagwell, marking Graham’s third recent starring role for the studio. She played the porn star Rollergirl in “Boogie Nights” and Judy Robinson in “Lost in Space.” Graham also recently starred in “Two Girls and a Guy,” and just finished the Danny Boyle-directed “Alien Love Triangle” opposite Kenneth Branagh and Courtney Cox. She also costars with Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy in “Bofinger’s Big Thing,” and will be starring in the Miramax film “Committed.” Graham’s deal is being finalized by CAA and manager Heather Reynolds.
Though Graham essentially replaces Elizabeth Hurley as the busty Bondian romantic accomplice to the dentally-challenged secret agent, Hurley is in talks to return in a smaller capacity.
“Austin Powers II” will have a new producing team, consisting of Myers, John Lyons (“Boogie Nights”), Erwin Stoff and Eric McLeod returning as the film’s line producer. Original producers Suzanne and Jennifer Todd will likely have executive producer credit. New Line wouldn’t comment on its “Powers” play, but sources said New Line will get behind the film with a major merchandising effort.
For Myers, the spate of deals gives him several potential comic franchises while he looks to continue peppering his resume with serious roles. Myers will soon be seen playing the small role of disco impresario Steve Rubell in Miramax’s “54” and another small role as a troubled father of in “Pete’s Meteor,” an indie filmed in Ireland. After “Powers,” Myers will likely segue into playing the punk show host Dieter in “Sprockets.” He originated that character on “Saturday Night Live.”
Myers is writing “Scooby Doo” at Warner Bros. with Jay Kogan. Myers has been an unabashed fan of the cartoon, even inserting a “Scooby Doo” homage ending into “Wayne’s World” that showed Wayne and Garth solving a caper by pulling the mask off an evildoer.
“Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” a WB film that will be produced by Andrew Lazar and Steven Reuther, is being written by Charlie Kaufman (“Being John Malkovich”). Barris insists his outlandish tale of being a CIA operative is true.Myers is repped by CAA and managed by Erwin Stoff of 3 Arts Ent. His lawyer is Larry Rose.