It’s been a long journey for the co-creators of Peacock‘s newest series MacGruber as the titular character transformed from an iconic Saturday Night Live sketch into a cult classic 2010 movie that all led to this 2021 show.
But despite the more-than-10-year absence from people’s screens, Jorma Taccone and John Solomon have been busy at work cooking up ideas with Will Forte in an attempt to continue the mighty MacGruber‘s story. “We probably started just involuntarily throwing out ideas of what a sequel could be,” Solomon recalls. “And then Jorma actually wrote a sequel. And then a few years ago we figured out that we weren’t going to be able to make a MacGruber 2 that would be in theaters, so it became a TV series.”
(Credit: Jesse Grant/Peacock)
“We had an 11-year-old Google document because we do love the character and had been wanting to make a sequel forever so there’s a ton of ideas that we had just been adding to,” Taccone chimes in, revealing the source of their joke keeping.
With the help of Peacock, Taccone, Solomon, and Forte were able to lift their ideas and apply them to the series. “And then all of a sudden we were in Albuquerque with Kristen Wiig, Ryan [Phillippe], and Will and that’s the moment where you’re just like, ‘oh, whoa, these people are so good,’” Solomon muses.
Despite the show being largely a parody of the ’80s MacGyver series, MacGruber has a little extra special influence from one of the world’s most notable spies: James Bond. When asked if the new series took some inspiration from the popular franchise, Solomon admits, “Skyfall is a big thing that we talk about. It’s always going to be [influenced by] Commando, Predator, Die Hard, and those movies. But Skyfall [was important] because of the emotion in it.”
(Credit: John Golden Britt/Peacock)
Considering the fact that they were stretching a story across eight half-hour episodes as opposed to a single two-hour film, there had to be certain beats they met. “If it’s possible to say, we had to go deeper,” Solomon continues. “That’s what Skyfall was [for James Bond] because all of that childhood trauma and stuff is funny to us.”
The family trauma Solomon is referring to is the death of MacGruber’s mother (played by Marielle Heller). MacGruber consistently recalls the tragic death of his mother at his birthday party when he was young, believing the murderer to be Billy Zane‘s Brigadier Commander Enos Queeth.
That’s one of the driving forces behind MacGruber’s actions, and as Taccone notes, “you’ll notice all the dynamics have changed since the movie. There’s a lot of tension when you come back into this triangle of the three of them. And it’s very intentional because we wanted to be able to play on all those dynamics throughout all of the episodes.”
As for whether we’ll see more of the series, nothing is official yet, but Taccone and Solomon are certainly throwing out ideas as they hope possible future chapters would take their hero around the globe “taking place in different countries” like Russia or China. Stay tuned to see if it comes true and relive every laugh in MacGruber’s new episodes on Peacock now.
MacGruber, Season 1, Streaming now, Peacock