CBS scraps MACGYVER pilot, James Wan directing new opening episode

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For all of MacGyver’s ingenuity in getting himself and his friends out of tough situations, it seems he needed a little bit more to actually get himself to a successful reboot as CBS has scrapped the new show’s pilot episode. They are now looking to overhaul their plans for the reboot’s debut, and this time they’ve attached the original planned director, James Wan, to direct the new pilot.

While the show was initially picked up for a full season by CBS, the pilot did not meet studio expectations and so they are looking to take a slightly different approach with Hawaii Five-0 showrunner Peter Lenkov providing a different take on the story. And although the show will retain its leads Lucas Till and George Eads, there will be significant changes to the rest of the cast, with Justin Hires recently being added.

Wan, who has been involved in the project from its inception and has taken on more of a producer role, was initially planned to direct the pilot, but pulled out due to his commitments with the recently released The Conjuring 2, and directing duties were instead handed to David Von Ancken. However with the original episode underwhelming the studio – that poor first trailer not doing much for audiences either – and with Wan’s movie commitments now out the way, they are tasking him once again to get the show off to the direction and quality they want.

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So, what exactly are they hanging with this new take – Deadline provides the following details:

MacGyver now creates a clandestine organization within the U.S. government where he uses his extraordinary talent for unconventional problem solving and vast scientific knowledge to save lives. Eads will play a new character, maverick former CIA agent Jack Dalton, who joins MacGyver’s team on high-risk missions around the globe. Under the aegis of the Department of External Services, MacGyver takes on the responsibility of saving the world, armed to the teeth with resourcefulness and little more than bubble gum and a paper clip. Hires plays MacGyver’s ambitious roommate, Wilt Bozer who entertains him at home.

So MacGyver will still be the same 20-something in a clandestine organization who has a knack for problem solving in unconventional ways – which featured in both the original show and the initial reboot pilot – but there seems to be a greater focus on some of MacGyver’s home life with the introduction of a roommate and they also seem to be upping the ante with the type of missions MacGyver will be sent on, having a more global and world saving approach than before.

Whether these changes will be enough to reignite the series we will have to see. Personally, I’m not too surprised by this news, as the trailer for the show alone looked terrible, so I’m glad they are trying a different approach and Wan is certainly a talented director capable of turning it around.  I’m hoping this second take is going to give MacGyver a reboot that it deserves.

Last Updated: June 21, 2016

Craig Risi

A man of many talents, but no sense how to use them. I could be discovering the cure for aids or finding ways to achieve world peace, but I'd rather be watching movies and writing here instead.

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