Jul 8, 2009

Tradecraft: Saturday Night Live-Inspired Spy Parody MacGruber Headed For Big Screen

I wouldn't have necessarily thought of SNL comedian Will Forte's explosion-prone MacGruber character–nor his cinematic (and, as it turns out, biological) father MacGyver–as a spy, per se*, but Variety is spinning the story that way so I am duty-bound to report it. According to the trade, "Forte's bumbling spy MacGruber is headed for the bigscreen as the latest in a long line of Saturday Night Live characters to make that transition." Forte is writing the script along with SNL writers Jorma Taccone and John Solomon; Taccone will also direct. Lorne Michaels and current SNL head writer Seth Meyers are among the film's many, many producers and exec producers. The very funny Kristen Wiig will reprise her TV role as MacGruber's sidekick Vicki, and former spy stars Val Kilmer (The Saint) and Ryan Phillipe (Breach) are in talks to co-star. Variety actually has the audacity to report that "the logline's being kept under wraps." Really? Under wraps? Isn't the logline "a parody of MacGyver?" That's all the recurring sketch is. I'm actually a fan of the MacGruber sketches, but I'll be very interested to see how these creative people manage to stretch them into a feature film. The sketches are (wisely) among the shortest on Saturday Night Live, and they all end the same way: with MacGruber taking too long defusing a bomb resulting in an explosion. Hopefully the movie will find something more to offer than that. Considering the talent, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt for now. I find it really shocking, though, that a MacGruber movie somehow managed to beat an actual MacGyver movie to the big screen in this era of remaking anything with name recognition! MacGruber begins shooting next month. The character has already been spun off into Pepsi ads earlier this year.

*Spy TV expert and Encyclopedia of TV Spies author Wesley Britton counts MacGyver, though, so that's good enough for me!

1 comment:

Spanco said...

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