February 20th, 2010
If “Hawaii Five-O” is set for a relaunch on TV this year, can “Magnum P.I.” be far behind with an overdue makeover?
Think about it: Tom Selleck was a hottie when he played private eye Thomas Magnum, just as Jack Lord’s Steve McGarrett cop lorded over viewers in their respective times.
“Five-O” was a hit from 1968 to 1980, “Magnum” followed from 1980 to 1988.
Both were CBS shows, filmed entirely on location here. “Magnum” wouldn’t have existed if not preceded by “Five-O.”
Both have had buzz about transiting to the big screenin recent years, but so far such plans have been like the tide; they’ve come and they’ve gone, bubbling then fizzling over the years.
But “Five-O” redux becomes a reality when a new CBS pilot is shot here in March, with Alex O’Loughlin of "Moonlight" and "Three Rivers" stepping into McGarrett’s world. Daniel Dae Kim of “Lost” also will play Chin Ho Kelly; other classic roles for the next-generation show likely will be announced over the next few weeks and the only other mentionable, as of this week, is Taryn Manning as McGarrett’s sister Mary Ann, a character who originally appeared in two early “Five-O” episodes, so her emergence is historically legit. Or not.
So who would you like to see reinvent the Selleck/Magnum part?
Interestingly, George Clooney has been a “maybe” for both the movie and TV versions, though at last report, Matthew McConaughey was a possibility for the movie “Magnum.” Dunno about McConaughey, but I’d say that Clooney’s large screen star power would not likely include an option in episodic television, but who knows, he might ultimately consider the film “Magnum.” For now, let’s just say it’s “up in the air” for Clooney.
I could imagine someone from the popular “Lost” ensemble to don a Magnum mustache and get behind a Ferrari steering wheel to portray an ex-Navy Seals guy-turned-private investigator, fighting crime in paradise. Like, Josh Holloway, aka Sawyer? He’s got the charisma; he puts up a good fight; he already lives here; his star is still rising.
Or Matthew Fox, the Jack of “Lost?” He’s got it down pat, rescuing people; he remains primarily a TV staple despite some film work and conceivably could turn his neurosurgeon nuances to an investigative itinerary, his father issues into Vietnam matters.
Or, think about this one for a sec: Michael Emerson, who is the award-winning Ben of “Lost,” as a left field McGarrett? A good guy/bad guy actor, certainly intriguing, with potential layers yet to surface. Did het say he couldn’t imagine returning to the ways of New York, trading in his life in paradise, once “Lost” is pau? Well, here's an op; he would be a different kind of a McGarrett, both likeable but extremely tough cop; maybe a little creepy, even?
And gotta ask, would Magnum still don aloha shirts? He should! And the fashion industry here would enjoy the casual Aloha Friday look to market — and be forever grateful. In comparison, McGarrett always donned suits and looked like a tourist in Hawai’i; one element to soften and change in a reboot.
And why wouldn’t Magnum continue to wheel around O’ahu in a Ferrari?
Other casting could be equally tricky.
Who would play Higgins, with a Brit clip, who runs the Robin’s Nest estate where Magnum lives in a guest house? Would the same Waimanalo house be cast as the hideaway again?
And what about Magnum’s sidekick pair, T.C., the helicopter tour guide, and Rick, the club manager? Could be star-making opportunities, if unknowns were tapped.
Or maybe they should just leave the “Magnum” franchise untouched — at least for now.
Unlike “Five-O,” where most the principal actors have died — with the exception of James MacArthur, who played Danny Williams (you know, “Book ‘em, Danno”) — the "Magnum" players perhaps are awaiting a call for a cameo.
Perhaps “Magnum” should be placed on the back burner. Like, wait and see first if “Five-O” flourishes or fizzles.
What do you think?