“Wayne’s World 2” is generally regarded as an inferior sequel to the hilarious original, with neither its reviews nor box office revenue coming anywhere close to the first movie
A new book about then-chief of Paramount Pictures, Sherry Lansing, includes some info that explains why the sequel wasn’t that great: star/screenwriter Mike Myers was forced to scrap his original script and write a new one at the 11th hour — under dire threats of a lawsuit if he didn’t.
In the forthcoming biography, Leading Lady, one of the many inside-Hollywood anecdotes reveals that Myers’ original concept for the “Wayne’s World” sequel was an adaptation of classic 1949 British comedy “Passport to Pimlico”, reports The Hollywood Reporter, apparently not realizing the studio didn’t hold the rights to it.
In the book, the film’s producer, Lorne Michaels, confirms that “Mike had always wanted to do ‘Passport to Pimlico’ as the basis of ‘Wayne’s World’. So he went and wrote it. I think he believed the studio understood that, and I think he even believed they had bought the rights to the other movie so that he was free to use it.”
That wasn’t the case, however, and the studio actually didn’t hold the rights to the original film; with production slated to start far sooner than it would take to actually obtain and negotiate the rights, Lansing felt the only option was a complete rewrite of the script in order to avoid a costly production delay.
According to the book, a furious Lansing summoned Myers to her office and read him the riot act. “She said, ‘How dare you? How dare you put us in this position?'” recalls a participant in the meeting. “She turned to Mike and said, ‘We’ll sue you. We’ll take your f***ing house. You won’t even own a f***ing home.'”
Then-production chief John Goldwyn also shares his recollections of Lansing’s scathing remarks: “She made up this fabulous story about all of the lawyers sitting with [Paramount Communications executive] Stanley Jaffe,” says Goldwyn. “She said, ‘As I’m sitting here with you, there’s a team figuring out how they can take every single thing away from you.'”
While Lansing was likely bluffing, Myers was reportedly left “so shaken that he curled up in a fetal position on Lansing’s couch.”
Added the studio head: “If I were you, Mike, I’d go to Lorne’s office right now and stay there until you come up with a new script. We’ll slide food under the door.”
With no other options, Myers did just that, banging out a new script involving the ghost of Jim Morrison and a rock festival called “Waynestock”.
And, as THR points out, Myers and Lansing haven’t worked together since.