Lionsgate announced on Friday that the studio is producing a feature version of the classic TV series MacGyver. There have been plans to develop such a film for years–as early as 2010, and previously at New Line–but during an analyst call in which Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer discussed new projects in the works, he confirmed that the new action-adventure film is finally happening. In October, CBS ordered the pilot for a MacGyver reboot. The plan is to see the feature tie-in to the CBS series, which has Fast and Furious producer Neal Mortiz teaming with the original series creator Lee David Zlotoff. James Wan is attached to direct the pilot and executive produce.
The original series, which aired between 1985 – 1992, was created by Zlotoff and starred Richard Dean Anderson as the eponymous secret agent who could use his scientific resourcefulness to get himself out of just about any situation. The show became known for its clever, if somewhat ridiculous, storylines in which the hero would utilize a toothpick, a stick of gum or another seemingly benign item to route the bad guys.
The news of the MacGyver reboots comes on the heels of Lionsgate’s market woes, as the studio reported earnings of $40.7 million for the third quarter–far below previous expectations. The company cited the underwhelming box office take for the final installment of The Hunger Games franchise, Mockingjay Part 2, which, according to co-chairman Rob Friedman, took a $50 to $100 million hit due to Disney’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The MacGyver project, which will see the feature and the series being developed more-or-less simultaneously, could be an attempt to bank of some of the success that series like Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Agent Carter have seen.
Josh Lyons | Managing Editor