20 Things You Might Not Know About The Austin Powers Films

One big-name celebrity (who didn’t even appear in the films) got even richer thanks to this franchise.

1. Jim Carrey was originally supposed to play Dr. Evil, but had to eventually pass due to scheduling conflicts with his film Liar Liar.

2. Austin’s glasses are modeled after the ones worn by Michael Caine’s character Harry Palmer from The Ipcress File.

 

Because of this, Michael wore the original glasses when he played Austin’s father, Nigel, in Goldmember.

3. Frau Farbissina’s surname is a pun on the Yiddish word “farbissen,” which means “sullen” or “crippled by bitterness.”

4. Colin Quinn was originally offered the rule of Scott Evil.

5. Dr. Evil’s appearance is based on the James Bond supervillain Blofeld from You Only Live Twice.

 

6. Mr. Bigglesworth’s real name was Ted Nude-Gent.

7. Both Elizabeth Hurley’s and Mimi Rogers’ catsuits were modeled after the one worn by the character Emma Peel (center) from the British TV series The Avengers.

 

8. While the Austin Powers films primarily draw upon the James Bond franchise for inspiration, it is also partially inspired by the BBC series Adam Adamant Lives!, in which an Edwardian crime fighter is revived from hibernation in 1966 London.

9. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery was only a modest success at the box office. The film became a bigger hit when it was released on video.

10. The Spy Who Shagged Me made more money in its opening weekend than Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery made during its entire theatrical run.

11. The original name of the sequel was Austin Powers 2: The Wrath of Khan, but Paramount said no to them using the Star Trek title.

12. The teaser trailer for The Spy Who Shagged Me was disguised as a Star Wars trailer.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was also opening that summer.

13. In Germany the title of The Spy Who Shagged Me was the Spy in the Secret Missionary Position.

14. It took seven hours to transform Mike Myers into Fat Bastard.

15. Rob Lowe got offered the role of Young Number Two after he did a spot-on Robert Wagner (who of course played Number Two) impression for Mike Myers while on a golf course.

According to Rob:

“I was out on the golf course with Mike Myers and we were playing around and we were talking about how much we like Robert Wagner and how great he is in the first ‘Austin.’ And I just off the top of my head did this sort of throw-away impression of Robert Wagner. Mike just cracked up…. And I didn’t really think anything of it beyond that, but, about four months later, Mike sent me the script for the movie to see what I thought. And I’m reading it going, ‘Oh, Mike’s in another hit, it’s funny.’ And then, on page 15 or whatever it is in the script, it said, ‘Enter: Young Number Two, as played by Rob Lowe’ in parenthesis. That’s the thing about Mike, you gotta watch what you say or he’ll use it in a major motion picture.”

16. The “Rocket/Johnson” scene did so well with test audiences that they decided to extend it and filmed more scenes to add in:

17. MGM, the distributors of the James Bond films, were not pleased with the third film’s title, Goldmember. They took legal action, which briefly led to the film’s title being removed from all promotional material and trailers

A breakdown of the what happened:

“All promotional material (including online trailers) bearing the movie’s original title, Austin Powers in Goldmember, was withdrawn in late January 2002. MGM and Danjaq, who control the James Bond license, obtained a cease-and-desist order from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) arbitration panel on the grounds that New Line was attempting to trade on the James Bond franchise without authorization. The matter went to arbitration and the film was known briefly as ‘The third installment of Austin Powers’ until the matter was settled on 11 April 2002. MGM agreed that New Line could use the original Goldmember title on condition that it had approval of any future titles that parodied existing Bond titles. New Line also had to agree to show the trailer for the new MGM James Bond film, Die Another Day with Goldmember.”

18. Heather Graham reprised her role as Felicity Shagwell for Goldmember — in a scene that explained what happened to her character — but it was ultimately cut.

While the cut scene did not make it into the DVD release of the film, a book tied in with all three films says that Felicity stayed in the present but left Austin when she realized that he was still in love with Vanessa Kensington.

19. Beyoncé was the youngest person to portray one of Austin Powers’ (lead) girlfriends — she was only 20 when she filmed the role.

20. Demi Moore was an executive producer on all three Austin Powers films.

Getty/ Frederick M. Brown

And it made her very rich.

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