The action adventure series MacGyver is on its way back to television without original star Richard Dean Anderson. The project is in the works at CBS, and Furious 7 director James Wan is attached as a producer.
MacGyver originally aired on ABC between 1985 and 1992, but ABC didn’t actually produce or own the show. It was produced by Paramount Network Television and distributed by CBS Television Distribution, and CBS is on tap to both produce and air the reboot.
Entertainment Weekly reports that CBS sees the new take on MacGyver as more of a re-imagining than a reboot.
“A reimagining of the television series of the same name, following a 20-something MacGyver as he gets recruited into a clandestine organization where he uses his knack for solving problems in unconventional ways to help prevent disasters from happening”
James Wan is on board to produce, but this isn’t the first time the Furious 7 director has been attached to the MacGyver franchise. In 2012, Wan was set to direct a big screen adaptation of MacGyver, but it never materialized.
Last March, Wan told Crave why he wasn’t able to go through with the MacGyver movie.
“What kind of sucked was, and not fully sucked, I had to give MacGyver up to pursue Furious 7,” Wan told Crave. “So that was what I had to give up.”
Wan is also set to direct the pilot, so we can probably expect it to feature a sufficient number of explosions to qualify as a legit MacGyver episode.
In addition to Wan, Henry Winkler is also attached to produce. Winkler, better known for his role as Fonzie on Happy Days, was one of the producers on the original MacGyver series.
One familiar name that isn’t attached to the project is Richard Dean Anderson.
Fans were disappointed last month when Richard Dean Anderson said that there would be no MacGyver reboot, as previously reported by Inquisitr. Anderson told the Australian Associated Press, via Stuff, that the world is no longer a place where a man like MacGyver would fit in.
For instance, everyone has cell phones now.
“Part of the reason I’m not interested in starting it up again is that there is so much technology today that every human being on the face of this side of the planet anyway has got a cell phone,” Anderson explained to the AAP. “So for MacGyver to probably not have one and have to fashion one is kind of iffy. He’s a smart guy, he’d be smart enough to have a cell phone.”
While that’s true, plenty of other shows have followed in MacGyver’s inventive, jury-rigged footsteps over the years, and it’s clear that the formula still has legs.
In fact, Anderson’s own Stargate SG-1 was affectionately referred to as “MacGyver in space” from time to time.
While Anderson isn’t attached to the project, and CBS is on record that the new MacGyver will be even younger than Anderson was when the original series debuted, diehard fans can still hope for a cameo.
CBS’s announcement that it is rebooting MacGyver comes as dozens of other properties from the 1980s and 1990s are also returning to the small screen. Everything from the A-Team to the X-Files is being rebooted these days, so maybe it is time for MacGyver to finally come back.
The new MacGyver series has just entered active development, so we don’t yet know when it will actually debut, if it even makes it that far.