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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Why can’t Magnum P.I. get to the big screen?

by Jennifer Squires Biller

Tom Selleck proved he’s still got it when it comes to TV ratings. His TV movie Jessie Stone: Thin Ice scored more than 15 million viewers on Sunday night. But the real movie everyone wants to see him in, according to Selleck, is Magnum P.I. on the big screen. Yes, even all these years later.

So, why can’t this film get made? Selleck is still a fan favorite, as evidenced from his continuous TV-ratings wins and public adoration at Hollywood events. And Magnum P.I. still has an audience in syndication, both here and abroad.

In a recent interview, Selleck said his friend Tom Clancy had written a script years ago, but the studios and Hollywood bigwigs could never come to an agreement on the film. Can you say “idiotic?” A Tom Clancy script and Tom Selleck as the lead, it was money in the bank. This film should have been made in the 1990s, not long after the show ended. But it’s not too late. Or maybe it is, considering the recent trend in movie making.

There is a new era in Hollywood these days, one of teen-driven silly films, many of which are populated with sexual shenanigans and bathroom humor. Then, there are the truly sadistic horror movies that seem to celebrate evil through the most disgusting, vile, graphic images possible. And if that’s not enough to entice you, there’s always the latest meaningful drama, showcasing misery from a war, or Nazi Germany, or any other traumatic event in our nation’s history that leaves me so despondent I want to gauge out my eyes.

When I see the crop of movies being made, I have to ask myself how these juvenile films ever get produced, but a movie about Magnum P.I. could not. It’s one of life’s greatest mysteries. Generations from now will be able to watch Superbad, but not a character film about a Vietnam war vet who charmed us with his sleuthing skills and adolescent love for life.

Selleck is a proven entity, and guess what movie studios, not all of us want to see the current slop being turned out. You seem to have forgotten that good storytelling is the crux of a good film. Remember when movies actually had plots and characters that got us excited? I think a couple of them actually won Oscars this year.

Selleck said even after all these years, he always wins the polls about who fans want to play Magnum P.I. on the big screen. With apologies to Matthew McConaughey and every other A list actor who has been mentioned as a candidate for Magnum the film, there is no other actor to do this part. Sorry. Magnum was a character-based show, so changing the main character is a recipe for disaster.

Selleck said he wants to do the film, but not if it’s just to see how everyone has aged. He wants a decent script that won’t lampoon the show. I couldn’t agree more. I can’t imagine what those movie producers, who love to take TV shows and mock them, would do with Magnum’s rubber chicken.


Anonymous said...

I adore Tom Selleck. I do remember the Emmy's from your link a few years back with Tom trying to present and hardly being able to because of all the screaming and whistling fans. He remains such a beloved star and those top ratings for his movie last week proves it. People love him. I would love nothing more to see him in a Magnum movie. Tom Selleck was perfect for that role. Still is. And Look at how incredibly sexy the man still is!

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