— POWERS THAT BE Yeah, baby! New Line plans to start production next year on a sequel to the $53.9 million-grossing shagadelic comedy Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Mike Myers — who won two statuettes at the MTV Movie Awards on May 30 — will return as the retro spy whose passion for intrigue is surpassed only by his passion for ”birds.” Sequels appear to play a big part in the studio’s 1999 production slate. Also in the offing: The Mask II, starring another MTV award winner, Jim Carrey; Freddy vs. Jason, and Dumb and Dumber II: The Early Years, to be scripted by South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
— WEIR NATION From a storybook soundstage to the wild plains of Africa: The next project for The Truman Show director Peter Weir will be Okavango, a quirky drama about a man who becomes a target after finding a valuable diamond in the titular African region. The Warner Bros. project has had Kevin Costner attached to star, but he is now likely only to produce.
— FULL DISCLOSURE Although studio executives were, at press time, unavailable for comment, sources say that Fox Searchlight is without a doubt quietly developing The Full Monty as a Broadway musical. Could Fox’s silence stem from the fact that the studio is still embroiled in a plagiarism lawsuit filed by two New Zealand playwrights who allege that the hit 1997 comedy ripped off their 1987 play Ladies Night?
— FURTHERMORE It looks as if Paramount’s sequel to Mission: Impossible is moving steadily ahead for an early fall start with producer-star Tom Cruise and director John Woo…. George of the Jungle star Brendan Fraser (whose grandfather was a Canadian Mountie) is in talks to play yet another cartoon character in Universal’s live-action Dudley Do-Right, to be directed by The First Wives Club’s Hugh Wilson…. Stephen Cornwell, son of espionage novelist John le Carre, is set to make his big-screen directorial debut with the indie black comedy Snake Bite, which has been offered to Sam Neill. Cornwell’s previous movies were made for television and video…. Donald De Line, who plans to leave his post as president of Touchstone Pictures, may very well end up working with his friend, producer Scott Rudin (In & Out, The Truman Show).