Stung by a world that took his passion project The Love Guru and tossed it aside thoughtlessly, like it was nothing more than a dwarf comic foil, Mike Myers has more or less hidden his face from the public eye since 2008. In fact, other than a small role in Inglourious Basterds, he’s only been heard in Shrek movies and seen in development stories that read like Hollywood self-satire but, strangely, are not. But over the weekend, rumors began flying that Myers is returning to live-action comedy the best way he knows how—by making yet another Austin Powers film—thanks to this HitFix report saying he’d at last closed a deal to revive his most famous non-animated character for a new generation and/or one already nostalgic for the early ’00s. Of course, almost immediately that report was shot down: Deadline says that Myers has only “expressed interest” in doing so, though even this is considered forward momentum, seeing as Myers waited over six months to respond to New Line’s most recent offer, and has been musing aloud about a fourth Austin Powers for years now, whenever reporters inevitably run out of things to talk about.
Should it go forward from here, it’s unclear whether Myers would reteam with director Jay Roach, and also whether the film would follow Myers’ previously outlined plan to focus mostly on the relationship between Dr. Evil and his son (Seth Green)—a premise Myers pitched as a tribute to his late father, back when even The Love Guru was being spun as a tribute to his late father, so critics would feel guilty about trashing it. Anyway, The Hollywood Reporter says that while the deal is expected to close soon, there’s always the possibility that the difficult, demanding Myers definitely could balk again, as he’s described as “one of the more mercurial figures in Hollywood,” which is a nice way of putting it.