Mike Myers to Countersue in Film Dispute

ByABC News
July 8, 2000, 10:59 AM

July 7 -- An attorney for comedianMike Myers said the actor plans to countersue UniversalStudios and Imagine Entertainment in an increasingly bitterlegal battle over failed plans to make a film based on a popularMyers character.

The countersuit, which attorney Martin Singer is expected tofile in Los Angeles on Monday, alleges an assault in theway a process server chased Myers into his own home, violationsto Myers right of privacy, abuse of process, and fraud on thepart of Universal.

Myers suit follows a $30 million action filed by Imagine, headed by actor/director Ron Howard andproducer Brian Grazer.

Failed Negotiations Ironically, we would have filed our cross complaint withintwo days of the filing of [Imagines] suit, but for the factweve had discussions with Universal that were getting veryclose to possibly resolving the matter, Singer said.

Now that this lawsuit has been filed, its not going to beresolved as far as we are concerned, he added. Our positionis we are just going to proceed with litigation.

Universal had also sued Myers for $5 million back in Junewith much the same claims against the comedian, who scored ahuge blockbuster movie with his 1999 spy spoof, Austin Powers:The Spy Who Shagged Me.

The two filmmakers allege Myers pulled out of an agreementto make a film based on his popular character Dieter, aGerman talk show host Myers made famous on NBCs SaturdayNight Live. Imagine was making the film for Universal, whichshut down the films preproduction in June.

A Universal spokesman declined to comment on its lawsuit.

Script Rejected The battle dates back to May when Myers, Imagine andUniversal were hashing out details of a script for theDieter film, which was to have gone into production thisyear with a release date set for the summer of 2001.

At the time, Myers told Universal he would not make themovie because he did not believe the script was ready. Myers hadthe right to approve the script before filming. In a statementissued after Universal filed its suit, Myers said making thefilm would cheat moviegoers.