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BBC Articles

Austin Powers Star Sued

Austin Powers star Mike Myers is being sued by Universal Pictures after allegedly walking out of a deal to make the film Dieter.

The film studio took the action against the Canadian comic in Los Angeles on Tuesday, claiming he had broken a legal commitment to make the film, based on a German talk show character created by Myers.

Universal had agreed to pay Myers $20m (13m) to star in Dieter. They now want Myers barred from other projects until the movie is complete - plus $3.8m (2.5m) compensation for production costs.

But Myers, who said he was shocked at the action, said he wanted filming delayed because the script was unworkable.

In a statement issued by his publicist, Myers said: "I cannot in good conscience accept $20m and cheat movie-goers who pay their hard-earned money to see my work by making a movie with an unacceptable script."

Screen success

Dieter revolves around a spoof part that Myers created and regularly played on the popular US TV show Saturday Night Live. The movie version was based on an original script written by the actor.

In its legal action, Universal said Myers told the studio in March of this year that he was totally committed to making the film but that on 30 May he changed his mind.

Myers's deal with Universal is said to have been for 12.5% of the movie's gross proceeds - with a guaranteed minimum of $20m.

The actor's previous movies have won him huge global success. His two films about the bucktoothed British superspy - Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and last year's Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me - were big box office hits.

Before that, he had already earned an enthusiastic following with Wayne's World, and its sequel, centred around the spoof teenager Wayne Campbell - another character Myers created for Saturday Night Live.

June 7, 2000

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