It's been 15 years since everyone's favorite bumbling British spy appeared on the silver screen, but the Austin Powers franchise remains one of the more consistent comedy franchises in recent memory. Fans have clamored for a fourth installment in the series for almost two decades, and it sounds like such a prospect isn't outside the realm of possibility; they're just waiting for the right story. Austin Powers director Jay Roach explained:
We have talked about [making a fourth movie] for 15 years. We have also always said we don't want to do it unless we came up with something that lived up to the concepts in our mind. Until Mike feels like he has a concept that earns a fourth, it won't happen. But if it did, we have all agreed that we would be delighted to get back into it.
As Jay Roach recently pointed out to THR in honor of the 20thth anniversary of International Man of Mystery, he and Mike Myers would gladly jump back into the fray for another Austin Powers movie if the right story came around. They've consistently talked about doing it for 15 years, but they haven't come up with anything substantive yet. It's safe to say that a fourth installment in the Austin Powers franchise would be more than welcome to longtime fans of the iconic film series. The most recent installment (2002's Goldmember) is widely considered the weakest entry in the overall Austin Powers narrative, so another shot at this universe to correct course could be the right decision in the long run.
A lot has changed in the years since the Austin Powers franchise went dormant, and that opens up a ton of possibilities for new forms of storytelling. In addition to the significant changes that the James Bond franchise saw when Daniel Craig took over in 2006's Casino Royale, the spy franchise saw a major shift to grittier narratives with the advent of the Bourne franchise. The Austin Powers series carved out its niche by poking fun at the camp of the Roger Moore Bond era, but a new installment could potentially move into a "darker" territory by making Powers a more modern type of spy -- complete with an R-rating to match the increased age of the series' original fanbase.
Although nothing has received any definitive confirmation yet, Michael Meyers could potentially be on the path towards a major comeback if everything goes correctly. In addition to the possibility of an Austin Powers revival, there has also been ample talk of a third Wayne's World movie ever since the second film in the series debuted all the way back in 1993. Like Austin Powers, nothing has been ruled out in this regard, so we will keep our fingers crossed that it happens before it no longer becomes feasible.
Of course, as much as we love the idea of a fourth Austin Powers movie, it also raises the question as to whether or not it's a good idea. Long-awaited sequels (particularly for comedies) often fail to live up the reputations of their predecessors, so Austin Powers 4 could very easily collapse under the weight of fan enthusiasm. Beyond that, spoof-style comedies haven't thrived on the silver screen in recent years -- if anything, the genre has moved to the small screen with the success of shows like Angie Tribeca. There are a ton of unanswered questions here, but the fact remains that fans would certainly want to, at the very least, give fourth Austin Powers movie a chance.