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Friday, 11 August, 2000, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
Myers settles Dieter dispute
Mike Myers as Austin Powers
Ausin Powers star Myers was to write and star in Dieter
Hollywood comedian Mike Myers has settled his $20m (13m) legal battle with Universal Pictures, which started after production on the movie Dieter fell through.

Both sides were suing each other in the case.

Universal claimed that the Austin Powers star walked out on his legal commitment to make the film.

Myers retaliated with his own action, claiming that the studios tried to bully him into the film without a script of which he approved.


I'm glad to put all of this behind me, and I'm looking forward to doing a movie that we can all be proud of

Mike Myers

Full details of the settlement reached on Thursday, which also involves Universal's production partner Imagine Entertainment, have not been divulged.

But Myers is said to have agreed to make his next original character-based comedy with Universal, Imagine and Dreamworks - Steven Spielberg's production studio.

A spokesman for Universal revealed Dieter - based on Myers' Saturday Night Live character - had been dropped.

In a statement issued after the settlement, Myers said: "In regard to the resolution, I'm glad to put all of this behind me, and I'm looking forward to doing a movie that we can all be proud of."

Universal said all legal action on either side of the argument had been dissolved, adding: "All parties are pleased that these talented people can get to work on creating a new original comedy."

Bitter row

The legal row over Dieter began in June. Universal took action against Canadian comic Myers claiming he reneged on his commitment to write and make the film, based on his German talk show character.

Universal had agreed to pay Myers $20m (13m) for the project. In their legal action, they demanded that he be barred from other projects until the movie was completed - plus $3.8m (2.5m) compensation for production costs


Myers has considerable financial pulling power

A month later, Imagine entered the fray by launching its own action against Myers, claiming it had its own deal, which had also been breached by the actor.

This was followed by Myers topping the row off with his own counter claim for damages, saying that his deal with Universal gave him final approval on the script.

But, he added, when he found the final screenplay unacceptable, the studio tried to force him into going ahead with the film.

Myers has become one of the hottest properties in Hollywood following his success in the two Austin Powers movies - both made by Universal.

On the strength of the second, The Spy Who Shagged Me, Universal doubled what it had originally agreed to pay Myers for Dieter to more than $20m.

Just how much Myers will be paid for a new movie was not disclosed. Nor was it made clear why Dreamworks had been brought into the equation.

However, there have been reports that Spielberg and his associate Jeffrey Katzenberg played a major part in settling the Dieter row.

See also:

07 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Austin Powers star sued
12 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Myers sues over studio 'bullying'
06 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Myers voted hottest star
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