MacGyver, the surprise hit action-adventure television series that ran from 1985-1992 and starred Richard Dean Anderson, is coming back to television. And this time, acclaimed film director James Wan is at the helm.
James Hibbard of Entertainment Weekly reports that after years of false starts, CBS if finally putting the property into active development. MacGyver, which some years ago spawned a spinoff, Young MacGyver, which never got past the pilot, had been started and stalled. In 2012, a film adaptation had director James Wan attached, and while Wan ultimately had to pass on that project in order to direct Furious 7 as well as begin early development on the DC Comics Aquaman film he is helming, it will be Wan that makes his first transition from film to television to direct the television series.
Wan spoke earlier this year about his excitement regarding MacGyver.
“I love the concept behind MacGyver, and I love the direction that we were going with the movie. 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. 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.”
The CBS announcement described what to expect from the new MacGyver series.
“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.”
Lesley Goldberg of The Hollywood Reporter reports that R. Scott Gemmill will write and co-executive produce the series for CBS with James Wan’s Atomic Monster production company head Michael Clear, as well as executive producer of the original series, Henry Winkler.
MacGyver followed secret agent Angus McGyver, played by Anderson, who was educated as a scientist and employed as a troubleshooting expert with the fictional Phoenix Foundation in Los Angeles as well as the fictional government agency the Department of External Services, or DXS. MacGyver served as a Bomb Team Technician during the Vietnam War. MacGyver’s trademark was his ability to solve complex problems by making things out of ordinary objects with his Swiss Army knife, his resourcefulness and his encyclopedic knowledge of physical science. While MacGyver possessed adequate fighting skills, his character preferred to non-violent resolutions and an aversion to guns.
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