I don’t think there’s anybody on the face of the planet who has done more for the popularity of the Swiss army knife than 1980’s TV legend MacGuyver. Armed with that multifunction blade, chewing gum, a shoestring and some potting soil, that man could assemble a hydrogen bomb and use the leftover parts for an espresso machine.
And now director James Wan wants to have the character use those great skills to engineer a modern reboot.
For those of you youngsters who have no idea who that awesome man with the amazing hair is carrying that bomb on his shoulder, well that’s Angus MacGuyver – played by Richard Dean Anderson of later “Stargate SG-1” and “Stargate Atlantis” fame – an agent of the fictional Phoenix Foundation, who employs him as a troubleshooter across the globe. What set Mac apart was his preference for non-violent solutions, especially not using guns. Instead he made use of his encyclopedic scientific and engineering knowledge to often construct amazing contraptions out of everyday materials.
The show ran for seven seasons from 1985 to 1992, and proved that essentially with a Swiss Army knife and duct tape, there was just about nothing that couldn’t be built or fixed. A belief still firmly held today by mechanics in the East Rand.
Variety is reporting that Wan – who directed the only really decent Saw movie in the first one, and then proceeded to scare the digested food out of my colon with Insidious – is currently in talks to direct a feature film based on the 80’s TV show for New line. A screening of Wan’s latest scarefest, The Conjuring, not only scored “through the roof” with test audiences but apparently impressed New Line brass so much that they’ve handed him the reins on this franchise.
Now while Wan is pretty good at what he does, what he does is definitely not something that will immediately make you think of MacGuyver. MacGuyver is a slightly goofy concept that needs somebody with a very light touch to make it work. Wan may be that somebody, but we’ve never seen anything else from him in the past to prove as much. And if they suddenly have plans to make MacGuyver all grim and gritty, then by Murdoch’s Resurrection! I will rage against this with the heat of a thousand suns.
Unfortunately, what is really not boding well for this film is that Wan will be working off a script that was originally drafted by Jason Richman and then tweaked by Mark and Brian Gunn. Richman is the man behind such screenplay tour-de-forces as Bangkok Dangerous and Bad Company, while the Gunn brothers brought us Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and Bring It On Again. So, yeah…
I loved MacGuyver as a kid, and watching the recent reruns I still enjoy it immensely, so while I would prefer this to stay in my good memories, if it is going to happen then I want it to be good. Right now though, I have a suspicion that MacGuyver may just be assembling the wrong kind of bomb.