Ben Stiller Would Love To Make A Sequel To His Cult Classic Superhero Movie

By Michileen Martin | 4 months ago

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Ben Stiller in a superhero movie? That may sound more like something in the cards for Stiller’s Tropic Thunder character Tugg Speedman, but no — before DC or Marvel’s respective cinematic universes, before Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy or the first Fox X-Men film, Ben Stiller lead an impressive cast in the 1999 superhero send-up Mystery Men. In a recent interview, Stiller confesses that he’d love to return to the franchise and make Mystery Men 2.

The actor was talking to Comic Book about his upcoming series Severance when he was seemingly surprised at being asked whether or not he’d be interested in a Mystery Men sequel. Stiller said, “That’s the first I’m hearing of it, but sure. I’m all for it. I had fun doing it. Yeah, it would be a blast. It was a really, really fun cast.” Stiller, who played Mr. Furious in the movie, added, “And there’s still some rage and fury inside me somewhere, I think.”

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Ben Stiller as Mr. Furious in Mystery Men (1999)

In the Champion City of Mystery Men, there are the rich and heavily sponsored superheroes like Captain Amazing (Greg Kinnear), and then there are the wanna-bes. It’s in the latter group that Mr. Furious and his buddies The Shoveler (William H. Macy) and the cutlery-wielding Blue Raja (Hank Azaria) find themselves. Occasionally they fight crime, but mostly they hang out in their favorite diner, brag and — in Ben Stiller’s case — crush hard on the one of the waitresses. When the deadly, disco-themed villain Casanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush) re-emerges and takes out Captain Amazing, Mr. Furious and his pals decide to put together a team and rise to the challenge.

The team Ben Stiller & co. put together sounds like something straight out of The Tick. There’s Paul Reubens — best known as Pee-wee Herman — as The Spleen, who could knock out a whole room full of people with his flatulence. Kel Mitchell (Good Burger) plays Invisible Boy; he claims he can turn invisible, but only when he’s naked and only if no one’s looking at him. Janeane Garofalo plays probably the most genuinely badass hero, The Bowler, whose bowling ball contains the skull of her dead father who she regularly has conversations with (though only she can hear him). They’re eventually taken under the tutelage of The Sphinx (Wes Studi), who speaks almost solely in formulaic adages, and who boasts an impressive but very specific psychic power — he can slice guns in half with his mind. The cast also includes Tom Waits as the inventor Doc Heller and Eddie Izzard as Tony P, one of Casanova Frankenstein’s criminal lieutenants.

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William H. Macy, Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, Janeane Garofalo, Paul Reubens, and Kel Mitchell in Mystery Men (1999)

In spite of a surprising amount of star power — Macy, Kinnear, and Rush were all fresh from Oscar nominations — and an intriguing premise, Mystery Men didn’t do very well critically or commercially. With a worldwide gross of $33.5 million, the flick didn’t even make back half of its $68 million budget. In many ways, Mystery Men feels like a movie that was made too early, and something of a (albeit, much less violent) precursor to The Boys. For example, in an early scene when Kinnear’s Captain Amazing tears a Pepsi patch off of his costume and complains about losing their sponsorship, it’s tough to not imagine one of the supes from The Seven complaining that their views are down on social media. Maybe if Ben Stiller can get a Mystery Men 2 greenlit, it could do a lot more than act as backdrop to Smash Mouth’s “All Star.”