And god said, “Let there be remakes.” That’s how it went, right? Because at this point, only an almighty ordinance could justify the amount of remakes, reboots, and revivals that are headed toward our TV sets. The latest in the ever-growing batch is a MacGyver reboot series at CBS from Furious 8 director James Wan.
THR describes the put-pilot MacGyver remake as “a reimagining of the television series of the same name, following a 20-something MacGyver as he gets recruited into a clandestine organization where he uses his knack for solving problems in unconventional ways to help prevent disasters from happening.”
NCIS: Los Angeles scribe R. Scott Gemmill is on board to write the script and executive produce. Henry Winkler, who executive produced the original series will return as EP alongside Wan and his Atomic Monster head of production Michael Clear. Wan also plans to direct the pilot, which would mark is first foray into television. Back in 2012, Wan was attached to direct New Line’s long-developed MacGyver movie before the project fell through.
Welp, add this to the growing pile of cash-grab reboots. The news comes hot on the heels of word that Fox added a Lethal Weapon reboot to their growing pile of remakes and revival series (Behind Enemy Lines, Prison Break, X-Files). Meanwhile, CBS is also developing a Training Day series. Over at The CW they’re working on series adaptations of The Notebook, Friday the 13th, and a gritty, dystopic spin on Little Women because sure why not? Netflix has Fuller House. Showtime has Twin Peaks. Starz has Ash vs Evil Dead. And the audience? Well, we mostly have despair. Ok, to be fair, Twin Peaks, Evil Dead and X-Files are genuinely exciting, but really, the IP cannibalizing is far over the line at this point.
The strangest part is that none of these reboot/remake/revival series have seen major breakout success yet, but the networks seem confident that this is the way to engage viewers. Minority Report and Heroes: Reborn have seen a tepid reception, Coach was cancelled before it even made the air. CBS is seeing results from their Limitless sequel series, but it’s early days yet. We’ll get an even better read on how hungry audiences really are for the reboot feast when Rush Hour and Uncle Buck debut mid-season.
If there’s a saving grace for the MacGyver remake, it’s Wan, who is clearly a major fan of the property (I mean Saw was obviously a twisted manifestation of that, right?), and the s-hot-right-now director seems eager to explore his talents as much as possible while he’s the man about town. Wan is currently in production on The Conjuring 2, and already has Aquaman and Robotech lined up as his next features. He’s also producing a remake of The Entity, an adaptation of the novel The Boy Who Drew Monsters, and a Mortal Kombat reboot.
Reboot, adaptation, sequel, remake, repeat — amiright?