For a while, it was just ”Austin Powers 3.” A bitter dispute between shagadelic studio New Line and James Bond studio MGM (which claimed it had a license to kill the 007esque ”Austin Powers in Goldmember”) left the Mike Myers vehicle without a moniker from January until April. Ultimately, New Line nabbed the title back, and director Roach says the fracas didn’t foil the fun: ”We [were] like a baby that’s a week old and people can’t quite figure what to call it, but we’re still going to be a good baby.” Actually, that’s one of the few personas Myers doesn’t trot out, though he does portray the titular randy spy, his nemesis Dr. Evil, the great Scot Fat Bastard, and new baddie Goldmember.
The story jets from the ’50s, with Myers playing teenage Austin and Evil, to modern-day Tokyo, then has Austin time-traveling back to the ’70s. Caine plays Powers’ secret-agent dad, Nigel, and Destiny’s Child’s Knowles go-gos in as Foxxy Cleopatra, a spy undercover as a roller-disco performer. ”Beyoncé is like Cameron Diaz meets Pam Grier,” Roach says. ”She’s going to explode.”
Audiences can look forward to more dance numbers, catchphrases, and another Dr. Evil rap. Unless, of course, they’re among those who groused that the second ”Powers” was just a rehash of the original’s best bits. ”Some people’s criticism of that is other people’s greatest hits,” Roach says. Through it all, Myers remains a bit of a mystery man himself — which has earned him some detractors. ”I hear people say horrible things about him and I always know those are people who’ve never spent time with him,” says Green, who plays Scott Evil. ”He’s brilliant, and he’s a performer, not a president. People are shy and awkward and uncomfortable. Not everybody has social graces.”