MacGyver Reboot Update #7

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on August 14, 2016. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, link corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

Filming continues while the cast does the interview and photoshoot cycle at the TCA Press Tour in LA. Also, we got a brand new trailer, new stills and huge billboard ads!

via Getty Images

(Spoiler Alert: To avoid spoilers, I won’t post any revealing pictures, but you will get spoilered by reading this post or by clicking on the links provided!)

 

Work, work, work
Cast and Crew were still filming for Episodes 1×02 and 1×03 last week; shooting on the Historic Oakland Cemetery, in Midtown Atlanta and Downtown near Hardy Ivy Park. Several bypassers caught them filming while walking through the park or were able to watch the set from above. The reboot also got some impressive new lighting installations for the interior sets. For the rest of the week, production seemed to move onto higher grounds. A sky scraper setting for New MacGyver’s work place, maybe?

We finally got some more information about the Ninja shooting, gun-wielding bikini babes on the tank. Turns out they’re actually The MacGyverettes! Of course, we still don’t know what this is all about – Opening Gambit? Mac working undercover on a movie set? Who knows. Seems we’re up for a big surprise (hopefully a good one).

While cast and crew are working long days and weekends, they still find the time to pose for fan pictures or joke around a little bit. Two lucky kids even got to meet the cast on set.

Let the Promo begin: Interviews, Stills and Billboard Ads
On August 9, IndieWire posted an interview with Executive Producer Peter Lenkov about rebooting beloved shows. Lenkov revealed his rules of remakes: 1) Honor the original property. 2) Dive even deeper into the characters that fans love. He said: “The secret sauce is what MacGyver does, and I’m hoping that becomes a thing where people the next day are talking about, ‘Can you believe he did that?’ I think the characters are different, and the original show was very plot-driven. Nowadays, we have to really look at why people are tuning in. They’re tuning in for the characters.”

On August 10, SpoilerTV released more promotional pictures for the Pilot Episode and the main cast.

via SpoilerTV

On August 11, someone spotted a new billboard ad from afar – which didn’t look very promising to me. The up-close-version of a new poster provided by Peter Lenkov on the same day revealed the new tag line: “No man has done more with less“. It looks slightly better up close, but this poster wouldn’t spark my curiosity enough to watch the pilot if I didn’t already have a clue what the show was all about. It also reminds me of the first poster for the Unaired Pilot that shall not be named.

via Peter Lenkov

On the other hand, it’s not so different from other posters for movies or TV shows. Some people might think it’s a little cheesy, but that only fit’s into some of the cheesier episodes of the original show. My problem is mainly that it doesn’t seem to bring across what Original MacGyver made him our favorite TV hero in the first place.

It seems they did invest quite some money for the upcoming promo, though. Besides another version of a huge billboard ad, there are Sightseeing Busses driving through Hollywood announcing the “New Fridays” on CBS. I’m already curious what else is coming.

Let the Promo begin: MacGyver at TCA
On August 11, the cast travelled to LA with Peter Lenkov and Pilot Episode Director James Wan to do the promo rounds at the Television Critics Association (TCA). The visit included a short interview panel, photoshoots, live video interviews (streamed on the official MacGyver on CBS Facebook page), press interviews and posing for pictures with the interviewers.

via Twitter

The panel wasn’t aired, but we got almost everything live on Twitter and shortly afterwards via Online Articles. Peter Lenkov started with a MacGyverism consisting of trying to power up his smartphone through a lemon. Apparently, he should have brought more lemons to make it work. (Or maybe a cactus from the Ugly Duckling episode? Maybe I should try this with my old-school cell phone since it’s not smart and only needs to be charged once a week anyway.)

We had already heard a lot of what was said at the San Diego ComicCon panel last month: It’s “Team MacGyver” now; MacGyver get’s a family and a “bromance”. Also, there definitely will be guns (although it won’t be MacGyver using them.) 

Thankfully, they also shared some new information: Since MacGyver’s first name is not a secret anymore, it will be used frequently in the reboot. They will incorporate the original theme, with a new theme in the main title sequence. They already have a role in mind for Richard Dean Anderson and (still) hope he says yes. Lucas Till admitted he cut his hair because of the negative reactions after shooting the Unaired Pilot (we probably won’t ever know if he wanted it cut or if the bosses made him do it). There’s a nod to Hawaii Five-0 in the pilot and Lenkov hopes they get to do a crossover eventually. The cast still does its homework and watches the MacGyver reruns in their trailers between takes.

via Getty Images

After they made everyone sing “Happy Birthday” to Lucas Till, the cast hit the TCA After Party before travelling back to Atlanta to pick up filming.

Let the Promo begin: The Trailer
On August 12, CBS unexpectedly dropped a new trailer. While it’s again restricted on YouTube for an US-only-audience, CBS TV Studios was nice enough to put it up on their Twitter Account and on Facebook so everyone can see it.

I’ve watched it several times now, but I’m still not sure what to think of it. For the reboot itself, I’m still hovering between excitement, annoyance and bracing myself for disappointment. As for the trailer, there’s a lot of action and we get to see every crew member of “Team MacGyver” – The Brains (MacGyver), The Muscle (Jack Dalton), The Boss (Patricia Thornton), The Best Friend (Wilt Bozer) and The Hacker (Riley Davis). Sadly, the introduction of the whole team in such a short time is why we don’t see very much of New MacGyver himself and what makes him tick. The trailer does peak my curiosity, but it doesn’t “feel” like MacGyver yet.

Cast and Crew News
TVLine provided more information about Amy Acker’s role; revealing her character’s name (Sarah Adler). They also confirmed our suspicions that she’s no damsel in distress that needs rescuing. According to Lenkov, she’s a “female version of George Eads’ Jack Dalton, and she’s pretty badass!”. 

via Proper Sightseeing

Sarah Mays shared a picture on Instagram that revealed her being part of the Make-Up-Departement. Several extras shared their excitement online; e.g. Aina Dumlao (as a character named Andie Lee), Steven Stokes (Background Actor) or Tyler Ellstein (StandIn). Also, the IMDb page is slowly filling up with more names for the first three episodes.

Filming, writing, cutting
Still many more episodes to shoot until December, and the premiere is only six weeks away. SpoilerTV has revealed that Episode 1×04 will be called “Wire Cutter”.

While the writers spend the nights on the studio lot working, Peter Lenkov apparently has had a long weekend of cutting to do. It’s good to see that everyone is so dedicated to this project; their energy sure adds to the curiosity and excitement for the fans of the old show.

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MacGyver Reboot Update #5

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on August 1st, 2016. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, link corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

Last week, they finished filming the pilot episode and started production on the next one. Also, we got some more promo and lots and lots of set pictures!

via CBS


(Spoiler Alert: To avoid spoilers, I won’t post pics that are too revealing, but you probably will get spoilered by reading this post or by clicking on the links provided!)

 

Another Shooting Day in “Hotlanta”
Executive Producer Peter Lenkov announced on Instagram on July 25 that he was back in Atlanta to resume filming of the pilot episode. He was greeted with “Welcome back to Hotlanta!”. 

We had already heard at ComicCon that Lucas Till had been a real trooper while shooting for the pilot episode on a hot tarmac in his leather jacket without complaining. It seemed the weather conditions were still quite challenging while the crew was filming downtown. Lenkov posted a picture of his “sweating jeans” while Lucas shared a picture of George Eads wearing a so-called “cold scarf”. It’s unclear if Vinnie Jones – who had tweeted being back on set earlier – had also gotten one of those. On the same day, stuntman Aden Stay shared a picture from the set right before getting ready for action.

Bypassers were excited to see the production going on; e.g. while filming near Cafe Lucia or at the Georgian Terrace Hotel

Get a Taste of the Action
On July 26, CBS released a “Sneak Peak” (sic!) of the pilot episode with comments by Peter Lenkov, Lucas Till, George Eads and Stunt Coordinator Jeff Wolfe. We can taste the action alright; e.g. MacGyver chasing after an airplane, fighting bad guys and getting ready to do some MacGyverisms. Shortly after, they added a 10-second-TV-ad for the premiere. They made a modern version of the title in front of an explosion, and it looks surprisingly good (although us “old” fans still wonder about getting the old theme along the new opening credits).

On the same day, we got several promo stills for the Pilot Episode by SpoilerTV.

The Iconic Shot
Every MacGyver Fan knows the iconic picture of MacGyver shouldering a missile – and maybe even non-fans do (this is probably one of the most often used stills of the original show). Peter Lenkov shared a very interesting picture on July 26 of himself on the interior set, shouldering a white missile with a red nose while wearing sunglasses. Even more interestingly, he later deleted the picture. Did Lenkov give too much away about what the team had in mind for the next promo shot? 

It’s no secret: What you post on social media will make the rounds, even if you try to make it disappear. The cat was already out of the bag, so maybe that’s the reason that only two days later, several other crew and cast members posted pictures of themselves or of Lucas with the prop; e.g. Producer Michael Clear, Justin Hires or Camera Operator Tiko Pavoni. Peter Lenkov posted a short video where we get to see Lucas on the monitor, carrying the missile trough the forest (jungle?). His t-shirt indicates that MacGyver went to MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Interior Sets
We got lots of new pictures of the interior sets for the rest of the week. Justin Hires announced his first day working on set on July 26. Lucas Till posted a picture of Justin and one of George Eads plucking at a guitar. Justin in turn had posted several videos on his Facebook Account. Lenkov showed us Lucas getting touched up by the MakeUp Departement before sharing several pictures of (presumably) MacGyver’s home; e.g. the living room, the fridge and the work area.

It’s fun to see pictures even though you’re not really sure what to make of it; e.g. of MacGyver with a Robot Hand or of Wilt Bozer making waffles. Also, the crew shot some scenes in “Siberia“. Must be pretty funny; filming in full winter gear inside a studio in Hotlanta under bright lights (ahem). 

Cast and Crew News
Several Extras shared their involvement in the reboot; Katy Harrington (hotel guest), Jonathan Fritschi, Kevin Pinkney or Gary Sonny Alfano (drug dealer). StandIn James Grabowski revealed with his call sheet of the pilot episode that this was going to be an “open-flame-kind-of-hot-day” on set.

On the same day the crew was filming in “Siberia”, a husky was at the studio. It’s unclear for now if the dog will be part of this scene or not.

On July 27, MacGyver CBS officially introduced Tristin Mays as the character of computer hacker Riley Davis. On the same day, Lucas Till shared a picture of him with his Stunt Double Chris Brewster.

Team MacGyver (via SpoilerTV)

Fans had already recognized her on a picture provided by Peter Lenkov. On July 28, TVLine confirmed that Amy Acker is guest-starring on the second episode. She will play a CIA operative working undercover in Caracas who got kidnapped. Of course, we can expect Mac and Jack to get her out; maybe even get the girl AND the missile.

To the disappointment of many fans (myself included), it doesn’t look like Richard Dean Anderson will be part of the reboot. In a statement through his website on July 25, RDA said that he’s “(…) not considering being a part of a project that has overlooked the insanely LOYAL FANS of the original character and has proceeded without considering how and why they all became and STAYED loyal fans…(…)“. We will see if he still feels that way after the first few episodes have aired. From what I’ve seen of the production and heard and read of the panel and interview roundtables at ComicCon, it seems like this time around the crew actually tries to honor the original show.

Working on Episode 1×02
On July 27, Peter Lenkov informed via Instagram that they have started production on Episode 1×02 before wrapping the pilot episode on July 28. According to SpoilerTV, the second episode is called “Metal Saw”. An important tool on MacGyver’s SAK, maybe? 

The locations look pretty interesting. Also, Lenkov showed us how MacGyver would bulletproof a car. If I was sitting in this car, I would feel safer already. Maybe.

There are quite some more episodes to film until December and the crew was in for another night shoot on July 29. But they still have fun on set between takes. Tracy Spiridakos showed us what happens when you forget your phone at a table full of stunt men.

MacGyver Reboot Update #4

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on July 24, 2016. I made some minor changes (e.g. grammar or source corrections, link corrections, additional pictures) before re-posting it on my own blog for safe-keeping.

The MacGyver Reboot has been filming the pilot episode for its second week – and stopped by for a visit at the ComicCon in San Diego!

via Instagram

 

(Spoiler Alert: To avoid spoilers, I won’t post any revealing pics, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get spoilered by reading my posts or clicking on the links provided!)

 

Aloha from Set
During the second week of shooting, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov and several crew members continued to grant us a look inside the production. On July 18, Stunt Coordinator Jeff Wolfe posted a video of a stuntman climbing on a military truck driving along the highway with a helicopter following behind the truck. Pretty cool!

On the same day, Lenkov posted several pictures of George Eads in full military gear, looking like a sniper trying to take out the bad guys. Lenkov included a picture with “Aloha” written on the rifle; therefore sending a “little love letter” to his crew filming Hawaii Five-0. On the same day, he posted a short video of Lucas Till as MacGyver cutting some wires while wearing a protection suit. Looks like he just saved the day again by defusing another bomb!

Peter Lenkov introduced us to “Team MacGyver” by posting a picture with Lucas Till (MacGyver), George Eads (Jack Dalton), Sandrine Holt (Patricia Thornton) and Tristin Mays (Riley Davis). Composer Keith Power has started scoring – and apparently needs lots of coffee while doing it.

via Peter Lenkov

 

Tanks, Helicopters and Bikini Babes
On July 19, we got several pictures of a tank on set. A tank that soon got invaded by bikini-clad women in heels while carrying weapons. Hmm. SkyDroneCinema called it a “hot hot day on set” while Lenkov asks the same question that fans have been asking on the MacGyver Online Forums and on the MacGyver Online Facebook Page: “What does this have to do with #macgyver???”

Chris Payne Gilbert sure had fun with this scene, as did George’s StandIn Mikey Leo and model Teresita Vicente (although she later deleted her Instagram picture stating she had been shooting Ninjas all day with a machine gun while wearing a bathing suit). While some fans were as happy as Lucas and George snagging Ninja-Shooting Bikini Babe India Batson for a picture, others were either confused or disappointed; stating that “Baywatch With Tanks” wasn’t the image the show should be going for. I’m still guessing at what this scene should be. Opening Gambit? Weird Dream? Fantasy? Music Video for the Soundtrack? We’ll see in September.

On the same day, Lenkov posted pictures of a helicopter on set while SkyDroneCinema shared a video back from the Estate Party Night Shoot at the Swan House in which we get to know New MacGyver’s fighting style.

via Peter Lenkov

 

MacGyver at Comic Con: Multitool and fun ride
CBS had announced before that they would hand out a new version of the “MacGyver Multitool” and that fans would have the chance to take free rides in electric cars. Lucas and George got to enjoy a ride while doing interviews. It didn’t take long for visitors at Comic Con San Diego to share pictures of their paperclip, most of them complimenting the advertizing.

Interestingly, the MacGyver logo on the electric cars and on the shirts of the Multitool-Promo-Crew is different: The SAK is gone. In the meantime, it has also disappeared from the logos on the official social media accounts. Let’s hope it doesn’t get replaced by a paperclip somehow, because I really liked the old logo. To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed about the change – partly because THIS is the only tool MacGyver really needs, but mostly because being from Switzerland, I was always very proud of a Swiss product so prominently featured in the most favorite TV show of my childhood. Thanks to MacGyver, until my former male classmates had to join the military service at the age of 18 I believed that the official SAK at that time was red (it was actually silver until 2008; now they’re handing out a very different model in green).

 

via CBS Watch! Magazine
MacGyver at Comic Con: Panel and Roundtable Interviews
Besides Lucas Till and George Eads, both Peter Lenkov and James Wan attended the panel and did several interview rounds.

Watching the 30-minutes-panel, the team seems to work very well together and the chemistry between Till and Eads is great (they already turned the people behind the Keysmash Blog Twitter Account into shippers). If you’re interested in the video, you can check it out here. (Sadly, the additional two short video clips they showed have not been made public yet.)

Especially Peter Lenkov and James Wan managed to ease a lot of the worries weighing on us fans. Wan acknowledged that MacGyver is “such a different hero from what we see on TV these days” and stated that they want to retain that spirit of a great role model blessed with intelligence and humanity.

Lenkov promised to include lots of Easter Eggs for fans of the old show. He revealed hoping to involve cast members of the original version and reaching out to Richard Dean Anderson. This admission led to dozens of online articles popping up even before the panel ended; e.g. by Variety, Deadline or the Hollywood Reporter. While it is still unclear what kind of role they would offer to him, an appearance of RDA sure would draw in many fans still wary of a reboot.

While the producers want to honor the legacy and won’t turn Angus MacGyver into some kind of Jason Bourne or James Bond, Lenkov also said that they will update some of the techniques, meaning different shooting styles and editing techniques. Additionally, MacGyver won’t be a “lone wolf” anymore but more of a team player (which has become a standard in almost every modern tv show, but I’m still not sure if this is always a good thing).

via Hollywood Reporter

In the Roundtable Interview posted by Seat42F, Lucas Till admitted having catched some reruns in his youth, but not being an avid fan back then. He’s currently on Season 2 for research purposes. George Eads stated feeling the pressure and the tiring shooting schedule, but also feeling very proud being part of this project. Seat42F shared another Roundtable Interview with Lenkov and Wan, where Lenkov confirmed that they would keep the Opening Gambits. Regarding the challenges about setting the reboot into 2016, Wan and Lenkov stated that while today’s world is very much digital and so many problems are solved with computers,MacGyver still thinks in analog ways. Wan always liked that MacGyver only turned to violence as a last resort; and while the show is set “in a modern world that is so violent“, he wants the hero to keep using his brain for creative problem solving.

In the press junket interview posted by sandwichjohnfilms, Lenkov promised that we will see why Lucas Till is the perfect MacGyver. Lenkov is aware that people are very sceptical of this reboot and wants to retain the soul of the old show while introducing it to a new audience. For Wan, it doesn’t matter what type of film he’s making (action, horror or comedy; low-budget or blockbuster), because for him it’s all about the characters and if the chemistry is right, then “the action and the set-pieces are just the cream on the cake that makes it all the more tastier“.

In a video interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lucas Till repeated his earlier statement in the panel that he would be okay wearing a mullet in the next season.

via CBS

The article by USA Today confirms that the show will keep the voice-overs. During a video interview with ET Online, Lucas had joked about his stunt guy sitting on the sidelines – and he already paid the price for it, as the article reveals: Till (…) has persuaded producers to let him perform a number of MacGyver’s tricky stunts. He sports a band-aid on his finger from a cut suffered grabbing the side of a serving tray at the end of a complicated kick-and-catch move. Let’s hope he realizes that having a stunt person is actually a good thing, no matter how much fun it is to do the stunts yourself – otherwise, RDA might explain (and show) it to him.

Cast and Crew News
During last week, Central Casting Georgia has made several casting calls; e.g. for Ninjas, Korean workers and soldiers, Caracas guards or Asian hackers. They’re also looking for old cars and mopeds and for a hand double – judging by the provided picture, probably for Lucas Till.

Singer George Lott announced on July 19 that he will have a featured cameo role in the show – maybe even for the episode called “Baywatch with Tanks”?

Peter Lenkov shared the information that it’s only 5 more days with James Wan until moving forward onto the next episode. So far, we don’t know yet its title or its director – but the casting calls indicate an Asian setting. Brian Durkin is back on the studio lot writing new episodes, so there will be more casting calls soon.

Back Home
Several times, Peter Lenkov had already posted pictures of the Griffith Observatory back in LA – MacGyver’s home in the original pilot. The speculations and hopes of many fans turned out to be true when Pilot Episode Director James Wan posted a picture on July 23 of the crew shooting at Griffith Park in front of the observatory. New MacGyver is definitely going back to his roots.