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Brand New MacGyver Details Revealed At San Diego Comic-Con

Stars Lucas Till and George Eads join Executive Producers Peter Lenkov and James Wan at Comic-Con to share the scoop on the new series.
Posted on Jul 21, 2016 | 11:20am
Mac is back! Capping off CBS's three-hour block at San Diego Comic-Con today, the MacGyver panel gave fans an exclusive first look at the beloved character's new incarnation. Attending the event were series stars Lucas Till (X-Men), George Eads (CSI), and Executive Producers Peter Lenkov (Hawaii Five-0) and James Wan (Furious 7).

"Why MacGyver? Why now?" These were the questions that kicked off the panel, and all of the panelists were eager to answer.

MacGyver is "such a different hero from what we see on TV these days," explained Wan, citing his intelligence and humanity as key differentiators. "He’s a great hero and a great role model for today’s audiences... He's a positive character and we want to retain that spirit."

On directing the pilot for MacGyver, Wan said, "It’s the kind of stuff directors wish for and dream for."

"For me, when I saw that original show, I wanted to be MacGyver... He was human; he made mistakes," said Lenkov. "This is one of the crown jewels in TV history. This is one of the shows people remember very fondly."

Till, who plays MacGyver on the show, hinted at another thing that keeps audiences coming back. "As long as I'm building an atom bomb out of a pineapple, that’s what [the audience wants] to see." He noted that another reason MacGyver resonates with audiences is his vulnerability. He summarized it by simply stating, “He’s a hero with a fear of heights."

Joining Till on the cast, and onstage at Comic-Con, CSI veteran Eads talked about his enthusiasm for the franchise. "It’s pretty easy to jump up in the morning and run to work." He and Till bonded early on, and joked and laughed together onstage during the panel. 

Eads addressed the differences between shooting CSI and MacGyver. After years of being mainly on sound stages, he was excited that the new show took him outside, but said, "I also realized how out of shape I was."

With the new MacGyver, the producers want to honor the legacy while updating some of the technique. According to Lenkov, that means different shooting styles and different editing techniques, but with the same heart. 

Of course, there could be no MacGyver without MacGyverisms or "Mac Hacks," and those will play a huge role in the show. 

"We have a couple "Mac Hacks" each act," said Lenkov. "The show requires us to do a lot of practical experimentation." He added that to keep the authenticity, they want all the MacGyverisms to be possible in real life. 

Will Richard Dean Anderson, the original MacGyver, make an appearance on the series?

"We’re hoping to get Richard Dean Anderson on the show," said George Eads. "We're hoping to have him... be a part of this new collaboration as well."

That's not the only way the new team plans to honor the original series. Lenkov said to expect characters who "you'll remember very fondly." Specifically, they're thinking of bringing back MacGyver's nemesis, Murdoc.

"We wanted to pepper our version of the show with a lot of Easter eggs from the original," said Lenkov.

The reverence for the source material was apparent with each comment. "Humor, heart, action—all those things work so well," Lenkov said. "We're just trying to keep the torch alive."

MacGyver premieres on Friday, Sept. 23 at 8/7c.