Of the various ‘80s nostalgia-fuelled development projects currently running through the machine gun fire of development, MacGyver has popped up here and there, but has never gained much traction. All that looks set to change as Insidious director James Wan is now in talks to tackle the project.
First reported back in 2009 (though bubbling away elsewhere even before that), New Line has the rights to the current MacGyver film adaptation.
The ABC series ran for seven years at the tail end of the 1980s and into the early '90s. Richard Dean Anderson starred as the titular be-coiffed agent of the Phoenix Foundation, who eschewed guns and escaped tough situations / foiled villains’ plans using whatever he could scrounge up in the area – tools, sellotape, wine glasses, you name it.
Though the show met its televisual end in 1992 (although there were two more TV movies), it has long continued into pop culture consciousness, especially when anyone finds a handy but unlikely way to get out of a situation.
If there was a stumbling block, it was the 2010 pic based on Will Forte’s SNL parody MacGruber, which rather crashed and burned upon release. But New Line and producer Raffaella De Laurentiis still think the original and best could work on the big screen. There’s a script floating about already, with work from Jason Richman, Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn.
With Wan’s latest horror The Conjuring apparently scaring up great responses from test audiences, winning a change of release date along the way, it appears he’s ready to take a break from horror and try some action thriller work. Could be great.
One word of caution – they’d better include a role for Anderson, or two very vocal fans will not be pleased…