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The next Austin Powers– meaning the center of the next Mike Myers movie franchise of diminishing laughs– is a man from India. Guru Pitka is a character that first got attention when Myers brought it to some small clubs in New York City last spring, around the time he’d split from his wife and tabloids were reporting he’d come out as gay.
He didn’t– come out, that is– but he is coming out again as Guru Pitka in a partially-scripted appearance Friday at the tiny Magnet Theatre improv showcase.
“The Guru will share his preternaturally keen observations on life, answer questions from the audience and provide guidance to all of life’s dilemmas.”
The Guru Pitka character looks to be more Goldmember and less Wayne Campbell or Powers (less cuddly and less identifiable). It should however, feed Myers’ delusional conviction that he’s the reincarnation of Peter Sellers. We should expect a movie made up of a disjointed series of sketches, and publicity that celebrates Myers’ genius and dedicates the character to Myers’ late Scottish dad and Sellers’ ghost.The Guru was first made news back in April with a mysteriously detailed (and quietly leaked) show listing. The Apiary website did some investigating and found that the Guru had appeared in the second draft of the Austin Powers 2 script.
Last month, the New York Times mentioned the Pitka character in a big article about Myers’ long breaks between franchise projects (not counting Shrek):
“In 2005 the character made his debut on some small theater stages in Greenwich Village, just as his Austin Powers persona was once honed at Los Angeles nightspots. Unrecognizable in makeup, a white wig and a yogi’s long flowing beard, Mr. Myers– who called himself Pitka– dispensed wild advice to the audience in a thick Indian accent.
Mr. O’Connor, Mr. Myers’s agent, said there were two completed drafts of the script, advanced discussions with Paramount Pictures and the possibility of sequels.
“He’s a love guru,” Mr. O’Connor said of Pitka. “He’s somebody who’s become an expert on relationships. That’s what leads me to think that if it works, it can be a franchise. The guru can be thrust into all kinds of situations in that regard.”
The Magnet Theatre began taking phone reservations yesterday afternoon. Good luck.
(AUGUST 15, 2007 UPDATE: We had a publicity picture of Mike as the Love Guru posted for months, but today the Paramount lawyers made us remove it, claiming copyright infringment! That must mean the movie’s a “go.”)