1999’s Mystery Men was deconstructing superhero films before we really had superhero films – and there’s now hope for Mystery Men 2.
Whether it was an end-of-the-century predilection for looking forwards, who knows, but 1999 remains a renowned year in Hollywood history for giving us a glut of movies that were leagues ahead of their time. The factors that led to an incredible year of pioneering cinema, including The Matrix, Magnolia, Being John Malkovich, Fight Club and The Blair Witch Project, are all covered in Brian Raftery’s great book, Best. Movie. Year. Ever: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen.
One film that always gets a little overlooked, having released in such a seminal year, is Mystery Men, the smart ensemble comedy that lampooned superhero films, before they’d really developed beyond the odd Batman film.
With legacy sequels all the rage these days, the idea of a Mystery Men sequel was put to one of the film’s original stars, Ben Stiller, who declared that he’d love to return.
He’s now said that “I’m all for it. I had fun doing it… Yeah, it would be a blast. It was a really, really fun cast. And there’s still some rage and fury inside me somewhere, I think.”
Stiller is spot-on regarding the cast, which also included Hank Azaria, William H Macy, Greg Kinnear, Janeane Garofalo, Paul Reubens, Kel Mitchell, Wes Studi, Geoffrey Rush, Lena Olin, Eddie Izzard, Claire Forlani and Tom Waits. It remains, to this day, a ridiculously-talented comedic ensemble, whom we’d certainly love to see reunited for a sequel.
The idea seems to be just that at the moment, an idea with no development ongoing. That’s according to Stiller (speaking to comicbook.com), who said “that’s the first I’m hearing of it.”
Superhero deconstructions and satires are becoming increasingly popular with movies like Kick-Ass, which is getting a remake according to original director, Matthew Vaughn, and Deadpool, which is reportedly getting a third film possibly set inside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As such, a Mystery Men sequel would be surfing the wave of current cinematic trends, as opposed to the 1999 original, which underperformed at the box office, largely because audiences weren’t sure how to respond to a film that was effectively lampooning a superhero boom that didn’t yet exist.
Whilst this is likely as far as this story goes, the ‘re-quel’ (is that a word? We think so) craze means a return to the world of Mystery Men may happen yet. Is it a film you’d like to see a sequel to, or one perhaps best left as a strange, end-of-the-century curio? Let us know in the comments below.
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