CBS Scraps ‘MacGyver’ Pilot, Sets James Wan to Direct New Version

     June 16, 2016

Before filmmaker James Wan ventures to the high seas, he’ll be putting his talents to use on a project of a very different sort. Fresh off the box office success of The Conjuring 2, Wan has signed on to direct a rebooted pilot for the CBS series MacGyver, which picked up a series order last month. CBS greenlit the show based on a pilot that will now be completely scrapped, with THR reporting that star Lucas Till (X-Men: Apocalypse) and CSI alum George Eads serving as the only two castmembers that remain. With Wan at the helm, a new version of the show’s first episode will be conceived and shot before the series debuts on CBS this fall.

Wan was actualy originally set to direct the MacGyver pilot when it landed a pilot order from CBS, but had to drop out due to scheduling issues—perhaps due to the fact that Wan came up with an idea to change the Big Bad of The Conjuring 2 from a demon to a nun well after the movie had wrapped, resulting in some new post-production work and reshoots. Veteran TV director David Von Ancken (Hell on Wheels, Californication) replaced Wan, and now Wan will be replacing Von Ancken.


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Image via Warner Bros.

Wan, of course, is the filmmaker who originated the Saw series and honed his craft in the horror genre before making the jump to blockbusters with the worldwide box office smash Furious 7. He is next set to direct Aquaman as part of the DC Extended Universe for Warner Bros., starring Jason Momoa, but with the July 2018 release date still a ways off and Momoa and Amber Heard occupied shooting Justice League, it appears Wan is keeping busy by taking his talents to television with MacGyver—which marks his TV debut.

Wan will also carry an executive producer credit on the series, which has gone through a number of writers since its inception. Fresh off The Conjuring 2’s successful opening weekend, Wan also signed on to produce the comic adaptation Malignant Man with Brad Peyton (San Andreas) directing and has put into motion plans for another Conjuring spinoff, The Nun. Filming on Aquaman likely won’t begin until next year, so it’ll be interesting to see if Wan continues to play around in the TV realm or if he’ll simply focus on continuing to develop the screenplay for that DC Comics adaptation.

Get a look at that original MacGyver pilot in the trailer below:

The reimagined MacGyver will air on Fridays on CBS and is formally described as follows:


A reimagining of the classic series, CBS’ MacGyver is an action-adventure drama and revolves around 20-something Angus “Mac” MacGyver (Till), who 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. Joining his team on high-risk missions around the globe is maverick former CIA agent Jack Dalton (George Eads). At home, MacGyver is entertained by his ambitious roommate, Wilt Bozer (Justin Hires). 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.

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Image via CBS

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Image via Universal Pictures

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Image via Warner Bros.


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Television