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New Line's Witty New Title For the AUSTIN POWERS Sequel Is... GOLDMEMBER'!

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

I don't mean to complain, guys. I really don't. I know this entire AUSTIN POWERS sequel title thing has been a big fat pain in the ass for New Line. What started out as an innocuous little jab at one of the early classic Bond titles turned into a major power struggle between two studios, and not only did it get public and ugly, it spilled into the film as it was being made.

At least, that's the word I've been hearing. My sources say that once MGM successfully barred New Line from using GOLDMEMBER as the title for the film and ordered posters and trailers pulled and destroyed, Jay Roach and Mike Myers went back to the drawing board for key sequences in the film, "turning it up," making the film more a specific, cold-blooded dissection of the Bond franchise. They were out to kill, and I hear the film is better than anyone expected as a result.

In recent weeks, we've been hearing rumbles that they were going to use one of several titles as the official replacement, and I know which one I was rooting for and why: NEVER SAY MEMBER AGAIN. The title actually came out of our Talk Backs. Someone suggested it, and I forwarded it to a friend high up in the process at New Line. He told me he loved it, and that he'd bring it up at the meeting that day. This was immediately after the MPAA decision rolled in, and they were hard at work looking for alternatives.

And now they've settled. They've gone back to GOLDMEMBER, which makes sense because Myers is playing a character named that in much of the film, but it still feels like a compromise. NEVER SAY MEMBER AGAIN is the one title that I've heard suggested that is based on a title that AOL/Time-Warner already owns, so no one can tell them not to use it. It's a big giant extended middle finger to MGM, exactly the way the original NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN was. It seems to sum up the attitude of the film the way it's coming together. I wanted to see this film go all the way, since I have little love for the tattered remnants of the once glorious Bond franchise.

Here's the release we were sent by New Line this afternoon, making it all official:

April 11, 2002


Santa Monica, CA - Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (NYSE: MGM) and New Line Cinema announced today that they have reached agreement regarding the use of the Goldmember title in the upcoming Austin Powers movie.

As part of the agreement, New Line will be allowed to use the Austin Powers in Goldmember title, but all future titles that may be construed as parodies of James Bond titles will be subject to MGM's approval.

Well, maybe they can just save NEVER SAY MEMBER AGAIN for the inevitable fourth AUSTIN POWERS film and then they can skip dealing with MGM altogether.

Ahhhhh... wouldn't that be nice?

"Moriarty" out.

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