New Line, Zlotoff rig up deal for 'MacGyver' film

LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) --- "MacGyver," the late-1980s television series that featured an always-unsinkable secret agent played by Richard Dean Anderson, has completed a plot for the big screen. On Friday, the creator of the Paramount Television series, Lee Zlotoff, closed a seven-figure deal with New Line Cinema to write, direct and produce a feature film based on "MacGyver," the ABC series that aired from 1985-92. New Line was able to go ahead with the deal Friday after Paramount Pictures, which had the right of last refusal for the rights to the series, passed on the project.

There is no script yet and no deal for Anderson to return to his roots as the hero that could turn everyday objects into such tools as flamethrowers and explosives to help get out of a jam while never using a gun. The long-running series has never been adapted into a feature film but did spawn two telefilms, "MacGyver: Lost Treasure of Atlantis" and "MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday." Sources said that while Anderson may be written into the script in a supporting or cameo role, the Angus MacGyver character will be a younger role.

At New Line, the project is being overseen by president of production Toby Emmerich, who brought it in, along with executive vp production Richard Brener. Zlotoff, who is directing an episode of CBS' "The Guardian," is repped by Wendi Niad at Niad Management and attorney John Farrell at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller & Hoberman. He also wrote, directed and produced the 1996 feature "Spitfire Grill."