A funny thing happened on the way to a movie parody getting a sequel: the original inspiration will be rebooted. Let us explain.
Debuting in September 1985, MacGyver became a modest success in its first season, despite being programmed on Sunday evening opposite Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories, which itself was not the breakout hit many expected. While Amazing Stories wavered in quality as an anthology show from week to week, MacGyver developed a solid groove, led by Richard Dean Anderson in the leading role, and attracted an even more devoted following in its second season after a move to Monday evening.
Anderson was an ideal actor to play an off-beat character, a scientist who served in the Vietnam War and survived to become a secret agent. He preferred using his brain to figure out practical solutions to the often dangerous problems he faced, rather than resorting to violence to solve things. He became known for making things out of everyday objects that were at hand, a technique that became a part of the language, as in, "He macgyvered it" to accomplish something that might have seemed impossible.
Taken out of the breezy, witty context of the individual episodes, such "macgyvering" might sound quite silly, which made it an easy target for parody even during its original seven-season run. Later, MacGyver served as the inspiration for MacGruber, a parody character played by Will Forte in some 30 sketches on Saturday Night Live, starting in 2007. That, in turn, led to a modestly successful 2010 action comedy (above), and we keep hearing rumors that a sequel will be forthcoming.
Recently, we heard that a reboot of MacGyver is under development, with a pilot episode ordered by CBS. But that's not all! Now comes word that a movie version is also under development from Lionsgate, via veteran producer Neal Moritz (21 Jump Street) and Lee David Zlotoff, who created the show back in 1985.
Absolutely no details have been provided, which is a bit frustrating, but also means we're free to let our imaginations run wild. The original show did not feature a continuing story, so it may be that the TV show will have a limited run, introducing MacGyver and his distinctively different methods, leading to an action-packed movie. In any event, we'll be happy to welcome back MacGyver in more adventures, and can only hope that the producers find someone as likable, good-natured, and smart as Richard Dean Anderson to portray the new MacGyver.