General News

Mike Myers Will Not Touch the Monkey!

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

Dieter is not amused. Mike Myers has walked on the long-planned "Sprockets" movie (name of "Dieter," after the title character), short-circuiting a film that was to bring him his first $20 million paycheck.

And Universal Pictures apparently isn't amused, either -- it has filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the comic actor.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Los Angeles. It seeks to bar Myers from working on other movies (or TV shows) until it gets the blasted "Dieter" movie out of him. It also wants the $3.8 million it says it's out in pre-production costs.

Right now, Myers is standing firm.

"I cannot in good conscience accept $20 million and cheat moviegoers who pay their hard-earned money to see my work by making a movie with an unacceptable script," Myers said in a statement that neatly ignores how unfunny "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" really was.

The really, really weird thing about the Myers dispute, however, is the fact that the "unacceptable" script was written by, um, Mike Myers (along with scribes Michael McCullers and Jack Handey).

Universal says Myers told the studio in March that he was set with his script and ready to make the movie. But on May 30, he bailed, saying the project wasn't working.

In between March and May, Universal got busy assembling Team "Dieter." Production designer Bo Welch was signed to direct; Jack Black ("High Fidelity"), Will Ferrell ("Saturday Night Live") and David Hasselhoff were inked to costar.

Their mission: To back up Myers as the turtleneck-wearin' German talk-show host character he introduced back on "Saturday Night Live."

The premise of the movie: Bad people kidnap Dieter's prized monkey; Dieter seeks to defeat bad people and be reunited with prized monkey.

On second thought, maybe "unacceptable" was too mild a term.

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