MacGyver Reboot Update #12

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on September 23, 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.

Only hours until the Premiere! Filming continues while the reviews for the Pilot Episode are piling up. And we got the new Opening Title Sequence to go along with the new Opening Theme!

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

Working on Episodes 2, 5 and 6 (I think)
I kind of lost sight of what episodes the crew is working on right now – there’s so much going on! While the promo continued at full speed, we didn’t get that many pictures as in the weeks before. Some showed a new set or set equipment like this fog horn.

On September 17, the crew set up at the Pullman Rail Yard, probably to film more scenes for Episode 5. They also shot more train scenes back at the Southeastern Railway Museum. On September 20, the crew worked in Downtown Atlanta, masquerading the city as New York. The fleet included NY Police Cars and Taxis. Meanwhile, G-Rod did some ADR (automated dialogue replacement) for Episode 2.

Chris Payne Gilbert shared a nice pic of George Eads preparing his lines. Lucas Till posted an interesting picture of himself “wreaking havoc”. MacGyver shooting an automated weapon? *gasp*. Lucas was quick to add that New MacGyver still doesn’t use guns. My guess is this is a BtS from the Pilot Episode where we get to see bikini-clad women shooting Ninjas off a tank. (You will know soon why that is.) On the same day, Lucas shared a picture of his bomb-defusal suit – and he wasn’t the only one following the dresscode.

Script Writer Brian Durkin sent greetings from the Writer’s Office and revealed what bike he’s riding at the moment.

On September 22, Aina Dumlao shared the news that she’s back on set – watching MacGyver episodes in her trailer. There’s worse homework than watching original MacGyver, right?

Let the Promo continue: Sneak Peeks and Refreshers
Promo is still hitting the state fairs – recently in Oklahoma. But the main promo consists of previews and sneak peek videos.

CBS distributed many videos to various outlets this week. To list a few: We got to see a BtS-Video of the stunt work with Stunt Coordinator Jeff Wolfe. One video let us “get to know the stars” a bit better while ET Canada shared another Featurette with short interviews on set.

CBS also helped us to freshen up our knowledge about MacGyver’s 7 Notorious Tools (as if we wouldn’t remember) and to decide which episodes of classic MacGyver to watch before the premiere – the cast and crew’s favorites, of course: “Trumbo’s World” (Lucas), “The Heist” (Tristin Mays) and “Partners” (James Wan).

Let the Promo continue: Theme and Title Opening Sequence
On September 18, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov revealed that the Orchestra was scoring the pilot plus recording the new theme. He even provided little videos to listen in. How exciting!

On September 20, Yahoo! posted an amazing fake title opening sequence they had edited together for fun. It’s actually a recreation of the original title sequence that many people mistook as the real deal. Only hours later, Entertainment Weekly posted the official new title sequence – and squashed the excitement of many fans.

I’m glad the reboot gets a “real” opening sequence (and not just the title for five seconds like other modern TV shows). I love that they kept the focus on MacGyver’s hands instead of the character’s faces. I kinda like the music although it sure isn’t as memorable as the original. But this opening is not as much fun as it could have been – especially not if you compare it to Yahoo’s fan-made title sequence *sigh*.

Let the Promo continue: Reviews and Interviews
Several reviews of the Pilot Episode have made the rounds now and they keep coming in. Some are quite harsh; e.g. the reviews by Variety or The Hollywood Reporter. Others are more “meh” about it; e.g. Collider or USA Today. I liked the review by Your Entertainment Corner – it is critical, but fair and rather points out the strong and weak points instead of just bashing on it. Another very nice one is the review by Cinemablend which comments some more on the characters and the performances.

On September 21, Eric Goldman shared an interview with James Wan about the reboot in general and shooting the pilot. Peter Lenkov talked with TV Guide about how to keep the spirit of the original. Front Row Features posted an interview with Lucas and George.

As Justin Hires reveals, press days and doing interview rounds for TV is hard work, but can also be very fun and practical. With the help of journalists at Yahoo and TV Guide, the cast managed to escape one of the famous Escape Rooms. Of course they did; it’s MacGyver!

Cast and Character News
Central Casting Georgia has made more casting calls; e.g. for onlookers of a crime scene, for people to work in flashback scenes to the 1970’s, for a SWAT guy and for downscale and dented neighborhood cars.

On September 17, Peter Lenkov granted us a first look at Penny Parker. Justin Hires posted a new picture of his character Wilt with MacGyver. While sharing his Favorite Classic MacGyver Moment, James Wan confirmed that Murdoc will be a character in the reboot.

India Batson shared the news that her scene as Tiffany was cut from the pilot episode. Seems like some of the bikini-babes didn’t fulfill their Shooting-Ninjas-off-Tanks-quota. Hopefully, there’s DVD extras for people who were looking forward to see her.

On September 22, SpoilerTV revealed the press release for Episode 3 (“Awl”): Team MacGyver will travel to Malaysia to extract a terrorist groups’ money man who holds key intel to an impending attack.

What is my opinion on this?
As I stated in my very first blog post about the reboot, I’m not a fan of reboots or remakes in general and I don’t like that many of the shows on TV right now. This so-called reimagination sure has its flaws and problems. Some of them because the reboot is set in modern times, others because of the creation and background stories of certain characters. I’m also not very fond of the Team MacGyver concept because it’s the typical team formula you get to see on television all the time.

Of course, it’s not that easy to satisfy fans of the old show. Yet I do think this reboot can be fun if you don’t compare it too much to the original and to the iconic character that Richard Dean Anderson created over the course of 7 seasons. It’s a good thing that a new generation will also get to see a hero like MacGyver, even if he’s different.

Also, with the buzz going on on social media (Forbes states that along with “This is Us”, MacGyver gets the most buzz of all the fall tv premieres), it’s nice to see that so many people are fans of the old show. The reboot will inspire people to check out the original, regardless if they liked the new version or not.

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MacGyver Reboot Update #11

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on September 16, 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.

Only a week until the Premiere! Filming continues while the promo cycle is in full swing with interviews, new promo pics, talk show visits, screenings, press days on set, preview clips and ringing the New York Stock Exchange Bell. It’s become impossible to keep track of everything!

via Georgia National Guard

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

Working on Episodes 4 and 5 (and maybe 6)
Filming continued for Episodes 4 and 5. On September 7, the crew set up at Atlanta City Hall; the atrium masquerading as a train station in Frankfurt, Germany. Several Extras and even the catering crew posted pictures from the set and from behind the scenes.

The next day, production moved locations to film scenes on actual trains. Rigging Key Grip Thomas Browne and Location Scout Gonzo Rey granted us a look at their interesting work environment. According to StandIn Mikey Leo, the scenes were shot at the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth. Over the next few days, Extras and crew members shared pictures. Nick Burrell revealed what the crew likes to snack on during a break. Mikey and Briana Lamb taught us some more about StandIn work.

On September 13, the set was invaded by dozens of news stations and interviewers for press day. Reporters and Journalists shared many pictures and videos on social media – so many that I can’t refer to all of them. In this video, Lucas revealed one specific MacGyverism he will be doing on Episode 5. Sounds familiar, no?

via Suzanne Lawler

Director Bobby Roth gave us an inkling how demanding shooting an episode can be. On September 15, he tweeted that Episode 5 has been wrapped with over 500 camera setups in 8 days.

It is possible that production on Episode 6 already started since Justin Hires just posted another live video on Facebook. During the 7-minute-video, Justin shows us the entire set of New MacGyver’s home; including the contents of his fridge. Right at the beginning, he mentions that they’re shooting the Halloween Episode right now.

Let the Promo continue: Stills and Sneak Peeks
Executive Producer Peter Lenkov posted more pictures of the main characters last week; e.g. of MacGyver, Jack, Patricia and Riley. George Eads also started posting pictures regularly (although his account seems to be disabled right now); like one of a scene he did with Vinnie Jones.

1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

We also got more promotional photos for the Pilot Episode on September 14 via SpoilerTV. One day later, they revealed 3 sneak peek clips. The first one shows the scene with MacGyver jumping off a helicopter (that Jack is flying) onto a driving military truck; trying to save the world. The second clip is the scene that was shot at “Lake Como” in Italy (and includes Nikki Carpenter) while the third one deals with MacGyver and Jack meeting up with Riley Davis in prison to recruit her for a mission.

Let the Promo continue: New York, New York
On September 8, the main trio travelled to New York for promo. Peter Lenkov posted several pictures of George Eads and Lucas Till behind the scenes or meeting the fans.

via NYSE (Twitter)

Lucas and George did a video interview with CBS News. Lucas did an additional single interview (including a preview with new scenes) while George was a guest on “Live with Kelly“. They also did radio interviews (e.g. with Sirius Radio) and posed with NY Police Officers. Later that day, the three got to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. After all this work, they finally got to enjoy some pizza.

Let the Promo continue: Big Brother and MacGyvering Pizza Boxes
By the way: There’s no need to throw away your pizza box afterwards, because you can use it to MacGyver a Birdhouse or a Tablet Stand!

via CBS

After the Iowa State Fair, CBS also promoted the reboot at the Indiana State Fair. The airing of the MacGyver segment on “Big Brother” garnered quite some attention on social media. Apparently, the winner received “a trip for two to the set (…) for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of all the action” – although many still complain on social media that the competition was rigged.

Let the Promo continue: Preview Trailers and BtS-Videos
On September 5, TV Promo 360 released another “inofficial” video with a few new scenes. CBS shared a 360°-BtS-Video with an interesting soundtrack. Is this the new theme song we’re hearing? I’m not really a fan of modernized well-known songs, but I could actually accept this. The use of this soundtrack is a bit puzzling though because someone at the MacGyverOnline Forums pointed out to me recently that this one is quite old.

On September 14, CBS released a BtS-Video of a photo shoot with Lucas and George; including the scene with Lucas hanging from the ceiling on a parachute for the official poster. I’m still no fan of the poster, but it looks like shooting it was lots of fun!

Let the Promo continue: Screening for the Georgia National Guard
On September 11, the pilot was shown at a special screening event for the members of the Georgia National Guard and their families at Dobbins Air Reserve Base. Lucas Till grew up on the base and attended the Q&A with his father, along with other cast members. They took their time to pose for photos and answer questions. You can see official pictures of the event here.

via Georgia National Guard

Cast and Character News
Central Casting Georgia has made more casting calls; e.g. for caucasian people who have an upscale business attire wardrobe or for men and women to fill spots for FBI, Firefighters, Cops, Bomb Technicians, Soldiers and other Army Personnel. Sounds like lots of action in the next episodes!

In his Facebook Video, Justin Hires revealed some interesting tidbits. We finally know that MacGyver’s home is located in California with a direct view onto the Observatory from the Original Pilot Episode. Also, New MacGyver likes to surf. According to the TVLine-Review of the Pilot Episode and this video from the Press Day on set, Justin’s character Wilt doesn’t know about MacGyver’s true occupation which will lead to some funny situations.

1×01: The Rising (via SpoilerTV)

In an Interview with Suzanne Lawler, Tristin Mays revealed that Jack Dalton is her character Riley’s Ex-Stepdad and that they have a love-hate-relationship. I guess we can expect some family drama history being revealed and the possibility of Riley’s mom showing up in a later episode.

On September 15, we got more information on Episode 2 with Amy Acker. We already knew about the synopsis, but the episode called “Metal Saw” was directed by Jerry Levine (Hawaii Five-0, Elementary).

MacGyver Crew as a winning Team
Apparently, the crew of Iatse Local 479 likes to spend some time off set together: Several crew members joined the 2nd Annual Atlanta Film Community Charity Kickball Tournament on September 11 – and actually won 1st place! Well done!

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.