'MacGyver' Movie And James Wan-Directed TV Pilot In The Works

You just can't keep a good hero down, especially one who can build a missile out of bubble gum wrappers. A big screen revival of hit TV series MacGyver has been in the works for years at various studios, but this week saw that project take one more step towards reality. Not only that, but a return to the small screen is also on the way.

About three years ago New Line was so jazzed over the success of James Wan's The Conjuring that they turned around and gave him a MacGyver film, as well. Wan has been pretty busy with other things ever since so the project never came to be, but now it's resurfaced over at Lionsgate with Neil Moritz (Fast & Furious) and series creator Lee David Zlotoff among its producers. Wan doesn't appear to be involved, but he had a few ideas about what his approach would have been...

"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? He’s a really smart guy but he’s so smart he could never feel like he fit into a construct, or into a world that is an establishment. So he’s always a bit of an outsider... To cut a long story short, the idea here is I wanted to put my MacGyver story around something like a 'North by Northwest,'” he said. “...in the context of the story 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.”

Lo and behold, Wan will get a chance to bring some of those plans to fruition as he's set to direct CBS' pilot for a new MacGyver TV series. This one will follow 20-something Angus MacGyver, and is basically an origin story following the resourceful agent's recruitment into the same clandestine organization from the original series.

So look at that, even MacGyver has a franchise, although to be fair it's always had one. MacGyver spawned a hit comic book series back in 2012, and star Richard Dean Anderson appeared in a series of short films. And of course nobody can forget Will Forte's MacGruber skits on SNL, which were then turned into a film some consider a cult classic. [Deadline/Variety]