The Wayne’s World movies are such ridiculous fun to watch, one could easily assume they were equally fun to make. However, it turns out the sequel was a lot more stressful to produce, as the film had to be completely rewritten with little time to spare. According to a new biography of former studio chief Sherry Lansing, she had to force Mike Myers to rewrite the entire film movie because his original script was based on another movie, but Paramount didn’t have the rights to the underlying source.
The information comes from the upcoming biography of Sherry Lansing entitled Leading Lady (via The Hollywood Reporter). According to the story, Mike Myers had always wanted to base a Wayne’s World script on a 1940’s British comedy called Passport to Pimlico. According to producer Lorne Michaels, Myers believed that Paramount knew this and had obtained the rights so that he could do it. However, this wasn’t the case. When Lansing discovered what happened, things got a little…let’s go with heated. Lansing apparently laid into Mike Myers in a meeting, threatening him and all his worldly possessions. According to the book, she said…
We’ll sue you. We’ll take your fucking house. You won’t even own a fucking home.
According to the story, the verbal assault by Sherry Lansing led to Mike Myers literally curled up in a fetal position on the couch in her office.
While the viciousness of the verbal attack may not have been entirely necessary, the reason for it is completely understandable. If Wayne’s World 2 went into production on a movie based on other source material, but without the rights, Paramount would almost certainly be sued, If the studio worked to get the rights, production would be delayed for months. For Sherry Lansing, clearly, neither scenario would have been acceptable. This meant that there was only one thing that Myers could do, rewrite the entire screenplay from scratch. Lansing’s suggestion that he get to work on that was just as vicious as her other comments. She apparently told him…
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.
The general consensus on Wayne’s World 2 is that, while the movie isn’t especially bad, it’s not nearly as good as its predecessor. We can probably chalk up the fact that the script was put together quickly as at least part of the reason for that.
Of course, that also means that somewhere there’s an original, Wayne’ World 2 script that the world has never seen that is completely different than the film we got. Passport to Pimlico is a film about a region of Britain that discovers that, due to a recently unearthed manuscript, they’re actually part of the Burgundy region of France. We can’t begin to imagine how such a setup would be integrated into a Wayne’s World movie. Maybe Wayne and Garth discover that their basement is legally part of Canada?