As far as comedy sequels go, Wayne’s World 2 is among the better ones. Even though it’s not nearly as good as the original Wayne’s World, it’s still much better than all but three of the other movies based on Saturday Night Live characters, and even ended up towards the top of our list ranking all of them. But the sequel that fans enjoyed would have been drastically different if Mike Myers had been allowed to use the idea he originally had. Instead, the Saturday Night Live star was forced to rewrite the script at the last minute. So why was Wayne’s World 2 rewritten? Find out below
The Hollywood Reporter pulled a story from a new biography by Stephen Galloway about former, legendary studio boss Sherry Lansing, who was once the chairman at Paramount Pictures, which distributed both Wayne’s World and its sequel. In the book, the original idea for Wayne’s World 2 was explained by Saturday Night Live creator and showrunner Lorne Michaels, “Mike had always wanted to do Passport to Pimlico as the basis of Wayne’s World.” If you’re unfamiliar with the 1949 British comedy, here’s the synopsis for Passport to Pimlico:
“The accidental explosion of an undetonated German bomb left over from World War II unearths a long-buried cellar containing both fabulous riches and a previously unknown royal charter from King Edward IV that cedes the surrounding land to the last Duke of Burgundy. Since the charter has never been rescinded, the London district of Pimlico is now legally the long-lost Duchy of Burgundy, and therefore no longer subject to British law, including postwar rationing and pub closure hours.”
Now I’m not sure how Mike Myers would have adapted that into the style of Wayne’s World, but maybe there was a story there where Wayne discovers his house isn’t within the jurisdiction of United States law or something like that. Or maybe the concert plot from Wayne’s World 2 was still in play and they decided to throw it in an area that was free of the usual rules for music festivals.
Lorne Michaels went on to explain that Mike wrote the script with his original idea intact, “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.” However, that was not the case, and Myers was not made aware of this until after the script was done with only a few weeks before shooting was supposed to begin.
If Paramount Pictures decided to make this movie based on Passport to Pimlico without having the rights to that movie, the rights holders could have filed a lawsuit to stop the film from being released. Paramount could have just gotten the rights to the movie, but with such a short window of time until production started, there was nowhere near enough time to negotiate a deal. So Mike Myers had to rewrite the script, and he had quite the motivation because Sherry Lansing really laid into him at the time.
In the book, one person who was sitting on in the meeting where this revelation was made recalls Lansing threatening Myers in the way that you think only ever happens in movies or Entourage. This person explained, “[Lansing] said, ‘How dare you? How dare you put us in this position?’ 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.’”
Apparently Myers was so scared at this point that he was curled up in the fetal position on Lansing’s couch, clearly devastated by this news and the prospect of trying to fix the issues. But Lansing gave him the perfect pep talk when she said, “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.”
As we know, Mike Myers rewrote the script, and the result was a solid comedy sequel. Myers was even able to incorporate some British humor into it by having Ralph Brown play a legendary British roadie named Del Preston, using stand-ins to make it look like Wayne and Garth went to London and hit some of the tourist hot spots. So Myers got his mega happy ending for Wayne’s World 2, but now I want to read that original script.
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