The Death of 'Austin Powers' (And Six More Hobbled Franchises Worth Putting Down)


After the unfortunate reception for The Love Guru, it's just too easy to write off New Line's prospective Austin Powers revival (which Mike Myers is reportedly working on for New Line with former series collaborator Mike McCullers) as yet another ill-advised folly belching the black smoke of Myers's career. In fact, taken as merely a part of the larger phenomenon we at Defamer like to call The End of Ideas, the Powers franchise is but a speck of the shit on Hollywood's collective bathroom wall — a tableau diligently studied today by the haz-mat crew at Entertainment Weekly.

We're pretty sure the inclusion of Powers in their list of 14 franchises to kill was a serendipitous fluke (it's actually pegged to The Mummy 3 and includes Indiana Jones and Friday the 13th as well), but Wednesday's revival news nevertheless reinforced the urgency of euthanizing bad ideas before they can strike again. And why stop at 14? As long as we have the ax out, we might as well finish the job with another half-dozen after the jump.

·Beverly Hills Cop: Sure, we summoned a bit of cautious optimism when we first heard about BHC 4. But word that franchise heir Brett Ratner wants a PG-13 and Eddie Murphy's continued commitment to mediocrity has us second-guessing. Kill it.

·Star Wars: Nothing short of George Lucas encased in carbonite will likely stop his molesty corruption of a galaxy far, far away. But a blog can dream. Kill it.

· Transformers: Wait — never mind! Thanks, Shia.

· Spider-Man: Heresy? Maybe. But if Sam Raimi is more preoccupied with spinoffs and Jack Ryan than Sony's multi-billion empire, just accept the sign. Kill it first, before Joel Schumacher hijacks it.

· Hostel: How much would it cost us to have the pleasure of snuffing this ourselves in a dank Eastern European abattoir? We'll get the money, like, yesterday. Kill it — slowly.

· The Lost Boys: Not a franchise so much as a misbegotten, Haim-wounding attempt at brand-milking, bound to get worse before it gets better. Kill it.