MacGyver movie joins the TV reboot in development
Ladies and gentlemen, its a MacGyverssance! With James Wan (The Conjuring, Furious 7) slotted to direct the pilot for the CBS TV reboot of the Richard Dean Anderson-led ’80s action series MacGyver, Lionsgate (via Variety) has revealed that they are simultaneously planning a MacGyver movie reboot as well.
Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer reportedly dropped the two MacGyver projects bombshell during the company’s earnings call on Friday, revealing that the MacGyver movie would be produced by series creator Lee David Zlotoff and Neal Moritz, producer of “The Fast and the Furious” franchise. More details should be forthcoming, and since both projects are under the Lionsgate umbrella, it’s not inconceivable that there could be some crossover between the movie and TV versions, forming a “MacGyver-verse” of sorts.
New Line Cinema originally announced the MacGyver film in 2009, with a script by Jason Richman (Bangkok Dangerous) to be produced by Martha and Raffaella De Laurentiis. After the sleeper success of Insidious, Wan was brought onboard in 2012, and he previously described his ideas for the project, which he had to scrap to take the Fast & Furious gig.
“My initial concept was I wanted to do a young college MacGyver who went to Boston, one of the great universities, who’s really brilliant, right?” says Wan. “He’s so smart he could never feel like he fit into a world that is an establishment. So he’s always a bit of an outsider. He’s very crafty, he’s very smart, all kinds of science and mathematics and engineering. I wanted to put my MacGyver story around something like a ‘North by Northwest’: He gets blamed for something that he had designed, something really big that’s something everyone wanted, and now someone has weaponized it and everyone’s coming after him. He’s running for his life and he’s trying to clear his name, not quite unlike the structure of ‘Enemy of the State.’ So imagine ‘Enemy of the State’ if Will Smith had the brains of MacGyver.”
“MacGyver” creator Lee Zlotoff also worked with the National Academy of Engineering on a project titled The Next MacGyver, in which they were crowdsourcing ideas for a new series with a female engineer as the lead character, although that may not be the direction CBS is going in.
Playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo has penned the script for the CBS MacGyver reboot pilot, which sees the show’s original executive producer Henry Winkler set to return as EP with Michael Clear. James Wan is attached to direct the pilot and will executive produce. The original series ran from 1985 to 1992 for a total of 139 episodes with two made-for-TV movies that followed.