New Line Cinema
Mike Myers burst onto the scene in the 90s with the refreshing comedy Wayne’s World. His star went on the rise from then all the way up to the late aughts, with hits like the spy parody Austin Powers and children’s favorite Shrek. But it’s been quite a few years since we’ve seen Myers in anything big. He hasn’t retired, so what happened to this former A-lister?
After the success of the second Austin Powers film, Myers signed a contract to make a film about his SNL character Dieter. However, he walked away from the production citing issues with the script (which he co-wrote). Universal sued him for $5 million and Imagine Entertainment sued him for $30 million. Myers responded with a countersuit. Eventually all lawsuits were dropped, but that was not the end of his problems with these studios.
In 2003, Mike Myers starred in The Cat In The Hat, the live-action adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic. The film was not well received, with critics panning its off-tone, crude humor. It was so bad, that Dr. Seuss’ own wife decided to forbid further live-action adaptations of her husband’s works. And it seems Myers didn’t just play a jerk cat, he acted similarly on the film’s set.
In an interview, Myers’ co-star in The Cat In The Hat, Amy Hill, gave a few anecdotes that painted the actor as a diva. Apparently, one assistant’s entire job was to feed him chocolates from a container all day. He also micromanaged the production and made the cast and crew acquiesce to his every demand. You may think fame went to his head, but it seems he has acted this way since the beginning.
Mike Myers’ big break after leaving SNL was his hit movie Wayne’s World. But even making that film wasn’t pleasant for everyone involved. Director Penelope Spheeris remembers him as difficult to work with and emotionally needy, and gave a similar anecdote about his demand for a snack assistant. Studios kept hiring him because he made them money, until a movie came that changed everything.
The 2008 comedy The Love Guru was made on a $62 million budget (plus marketing costs). Its worldwide gross was $40 million, classifying it squarely as a flop. It contributed to Paramount’s already bad year, and possibly led to the firing of several executives. It was the last big movie with Myers as lead, and that’s not a coincidence. But maybe the lack of offers is not the only reason he’s out of the limelight.