MGM sure hopes so — the 007 franchise is pretty much the only thing keeping the studio alive. But in the ”Austin Powers” era, will audiences still take the world’s superest secret agent seriously? ”I think the ‘Austin Powers’ movies only enhance our films,” offers Brosnan, playing Bond for the third time. ”In fact, I was going to be in Mike Myers’ movie if I hadn’t been doing ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’ at the time. I met Mike at a party and went up to him and said, ‘So you’re the guy who’s been taking the p— out of me. I’ll be in your movie if you’ll be in mine.’ ” Bond battles Dr. Evil — sounds fun.
But then so does Carlyle (”The Full Monty”) playing Renard, a Bosnian baddie with designs on the planet’s oil supply (and a bullet lodged in his brain that renders him impervious to pain). And Carlyle doesn’t seem terribly concerned about being upstaged by Myers either: ”I don’t think the ‘Austin Powers’ movies are so great,” he sniffs. ”James Coburn did the same thing better in the ‘Our Man Flint’ movies. The idea that ‘Austin Powers’ is a threat to Bond is just rubbish.” Good news for Bond’s studio, which is betting $100 million that 007 still has his mojo. BUZZ FACTOR: 7
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