MacGyver is set to return to television in the near future, as a pilot episode for a reboot series has been ordered by CBS, with Furious 7 director James Wan attached as executive producer.
Fans will no doubt remember that the original MacGyver starred actor Richard Dean Anderson in the titular role and ran from 1985 to 1992 on ABC. The new take on the series will be somewhat different, however, featuring the exploits of “a 20-something MacGyver” as he joins an as-yet-unnamed clandestine organization. With his inherent knack for improvising his way out of dangerous situations and solving problems in unconventional ways, MacGyver will also work to prevent a series of “disasters” from taking place.
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R. Scott Gemmill, who is associated with NCIS: Los Angeles, will reportedly write the script and executive produce the new MacGyver reboot. As the Hollywood Reporter notes, Henry Winkler executive produced the original MacGyver, and he is returning to the fold to serve in the same capacity for the new series. James Wan, the director of Furious 7 and the upcoming Aquaman, is also attached to the project, and it isn’t the first time he’s been associated with MacGyver. In 2012, New Line was set to produce a movie adaptation of the series, which would have seen Wan directing. That project, however, failed to move forward.
— Variety (@Variety) October 4, 2015
Wan will reportedly executive produce and direct the pilot for the new MacGyver, seguing into TV with the project if it ends up as a series. At this time, the MacGyver reboot hasn’t been ordered as a series, though CBS has committed to producing the pilot. Though it is unclear at this point how much they have invested in resurrecting the franchise, sources say that CBS has advanced “a hefty put-pilot commitment” for the new MacGyver.
The original MacGyver was an unqualified success during its time on the air, growing to become a cultural institution in the ensuing years. The show ran for seven seasons and 139 episodes, as well as two TV movies that appeared on ABC in 1994. A spin-off series (to be titled Young MacGyver) was also planned at one point, and though it failed to come to fruition, the show would have starred none other than Supernatural‘s Jared Padalecki.
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While the 2012 MacGyver film also did not move forward, Wan nonetheless observed that he was excited to approach the source material and had a definite plan to modernize the character. According to him, the version of MacGyver that he wanted to create would have existed in a story similar to North by Northwest. As the Verge points out, this plot would have seen MacGyver creating a technology that was desired by multiple parties. After someone else managed to weaponize it, MacGyver would find himself the center of a host of unwanted attention.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) October 2, 2015
While the return of MacGyver is welcome news for fans, it is just one facet of a wave of reboots headed to television. Recently, Fox announced a new show based on the Lethal Weapon series. Fox is also currently working on revivals of The X-Files and Prison Break, while a rebooted The A-Team is currently being shopped. Later this season, series based on Rush Hour and Uncle Buck are also scheduled to appear.
It remains to be seen when the new MacGyver will make its debut on CBS and where it will eventually stand among the crowded field of reboots currently headed into production.