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 #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.

MacGyver Reboot Update #3

Disclaimer: My original guest-post was first published on The MacGyver Project on July 17, 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.

Shooting for the Pilot Episode 2.0 has officially started. Contrary to the unaired pilot episode that shall not be named, we’re getting TONS of goodies; even official ones! The days of lurking the internet for a tiny glimpse of the set or the cast (or even a prop or location) are finally over.

(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!)

via Camera Operator Tiko Pavoni

Getting Ready
On July 9, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov shared pictures on Instagram of some bonding time with Lucas and Justin. The next day, he gave the fans more reasons to speculate and discuss by posting pictures of a call sheet, a sign with the words “cover blown” and one of a leather jacket. THE brown leather jacket of our favorite hero. How great is that?

Big Shanty Antiques posted on their Facebook page on July 10 that their parking lot was used as the crew base camp. On the same day, Lucas “showed off” by posting a picture of his “ostentatious” character name plate on his trailer door. Good to know that MacGyver 2.0 also likes to keep it simple.

Aaaaaaand Action!
Lenkov kept posting appetizers for the whole week. He shared several pictures of the main cast on Instagram; mainly pictures of Lucas and George, but also from their stunt doubles and other cast members, e.g. Tristin Mays.

He let us know about night shoots in a forest, on a boat, at the Swan House and about what the crew does while waiting for the rain to stop so shooting can resume. He also posted several short videos; e.g. of Lucas in character running towards the camera or of his stunt double jumping on a blue-screen-truck (masquerading as a plane). The crew even worked on the weekends on scenes involving helicopters, military trucks and trains.

One picture shows Lucas already shooting some ADR scenes, which might hint at the reboot keeping the MacGyver voice overs from the original show.

via Lucas Till

 

Other crew members like Set Lighting Technician Mike Collins also posted very nice set pics (although they are much harder to find); e.g. by “Mike J Neal” from the boat scene in Stone Mountain State Park or by Location Scout Gonzo Rey from a night shoot in the forest.

Grounding a Plane
Eric Heaf had already shared a picture of the crew shooting at McCollum Airport. On July 12, CBS posted a first Behind-the-Scenes-Video from this set; including Lucas and George giving short statements and Lucas acting a scene by hanging off an airplane while trying to ground it with his SAK.

In general, fans were very happy about MacGyver’s improved look with the new haircut and the brown leather jacket. Also, George and Lucas seem to get along very well, hinting at an established “bromance” between Jack and MacGyver.

So many Cars
Filming at the Swan House included a scene of an estate party with expensive cars and rich party attendees. Peter Lenkov posted a short video of MacGyver getting out of a beautiful vintage car while wearing a tux. Oh, we all remember MacGyver’s love for wearing a tuxedo (ahem), so fans are already curious what our hero is doing at this party (presumably taking place in Italy since all the cars have Italian license plates).

Understandably, crew members and extras couldn’t get enough of posting pictures of the set; especially the cars (or themselves in front of the cars). Several crew members referred to James Bond for this scene; e.g. Gonzo Rey (James Bond? Or MacGyver? Who knows…) or Meghan Lyvers (#macgyvermeetsbond).

Interestingly, Lucas Till’s father and his stepmom have a cameo in this scene. Lavonda Till tweeted a lovely BtS pic of the three in costume.

Cast and Crew News
Peter Lenkov had already shared a picture of possible new cast members on July 12. Besides Tristin Mays, also Vinnie Jones and Tracy Spiridakos were on set (we still don’t know what characters they will play).

Stunt Coordinator Jeff Wolfe (who recently got an Emmy nomination for his work on the CBS series Rush Hour) tweeted his involvement in the Reboot on July 10.

While several more casting calls were made (e.g. for hotel patrons and pool ladies), the IMDb page slowly filled up with some minor roles of guards and pilots, with extras and crew members. It seems like Keith Power (Hawaii 5-0) will be the composer (at least for the pilot episode). Since the music played an important part in the original show, expectations are very high and fans are still hoping for the original theme and musical cues to make an appearance.

via CBS

On July 15, Variety announced Sandrine Holt (House of Cards) being cast as series regular. A lot of fans are not happy about this – not because of the choice of the actress or the decision to turn a former male into a female character, but because Holt was cast in the role of MacGyver’s boss, an ex-field agent turned director of operations named Patricia Thornton. It seems that Pete Thornton is being replaced and won’t show up at all in the reboot. We all know that Pete wasn’t just some series regular and that his relationship with MacGyver was an important part of the show, so we’ll see how this change will hold up and how different the dynamic will turn out. It probably also depends on how they’ll construct New MacGyver’s background story (e.g. losing his father at a very young age and the age gap of more than 20 years made the father-son-type-relationship with Pete in the original show very plausible and played into many story plots).

Sightings
Peter Lenkov doesn’t get much rest between set days and night shoots. He shared a picture of his laptop screen, showing a page of the script for Episode 1×03. But a hard working crew needs a break every now and then. Between night shoots, they got to enjoy a ball game together before filming again on Sunday morning (July 17).

via Peter Lenkov

They probably have to shoot some scenes in advance as Lucas, George, Lenkov and pilot episode director James Wan will attend the MacGyver panel at ComicCon SanDiego on July 21, where the fans get to enjoy an exclusive sneak peek.