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BBC Articles

Austin Powers Fights On For Goldmember

The makers of the new Austin Powers film say they still hope to use the title Goldmember - despite protests from James Bond producers.

New Line Cinema has already had to recall trailers and posters in the US and UK after Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer complained the title was too close to Goldfinger, the 1964 James Bond adventure.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has upheld MGM's complaint.

However, a New Line Cinema spokesman said the company was trying to settle the matter with MGM, and resolve it within MPAA guidelines.

"Until that time, we will be referring to the movie as the third Austin Powers," the spokesman told the Wall Street Journal.

The new movie is the third to feature Mike Myers's comic creation - a spoof British spy from the 1960s.

This is not the first time the title of an Austin Powers film has caused a fuss.

Bond's producers unsuccessfully contested the title of Myers's last movie, The Spy Who Shagged Me - a spoof on 007 movie The Spy Who Loved Me.

However, new management at MGM is taking a tough line.

Vice-chairman Chris McGurk told the Wall Street Journal the studio had a "zero-tolerance policy towards anyone who tries to trade in on the James Bond franchise without authorisation".

The Wall Street Journal said MGM executives had been particularly irritated at a part of the trailer in which Myers's character is painted in sparkling gold, the trademark of the Bond film.

Myers's creation first hit the big screen in 1997's Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.

The movie, which also starred Elizabeth Hurley, was a modest hit, but built up a cult audience on video.

Problems

The sequel - The Spy Who Shagged Me - became one of the biggest box-office successes of 1999.

It took more than $200m (142m) in the US alone, and Myers has been keen to make the series a franchise like the James Bond movies.

The new film features Michael Caine and Destiny's Child singer Beyonce Knowles.

The MPAA's ruling poses huge problems for the Austin Powers team, because it is the name of one of the main characters.

Myers stars in the role - one of four characters played by the Canadian comic.

The movie is due to be released in the US in late July.

January 28, 2002

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