That's because according to The Hollywood Reporter, 'MacGyver' creator Lee Zlotoff is preparing legal action against Relativity Media to prevent their parody film 'MacGruber' from hitting the big screen. 'MacGruber,' which stars comedian Will Forte in the title role, began as a 'Saturday Night Live' skit and previously spawned a series of popular Pepsi commercials. Since he first debuted on television back in 1985, brainy super agent MacGyver has used his wits and uncanny scrounging abilities to defuse dozens of explosive situations. But now he faces his stiffest fight yet in the most unexpected arena of all: the court of law.
That's because, according to the Hollywood Reporter, 'MacGyver' creator Lee Zlotoff is preparing legal action against Relativity Media to prevent its parody film 'MacGruber' from hitting the big screen. 'MacGruber,' which stars comedian Will Forte in the title role, began as a 'Saturday Night Live' skit and previously spawned a series of popular Pepsi commercials.
But for Zlotoff and his lawyers, there's a big difference between a 30-second ad and a feature film. The real sticking point: Zlotoff retains the film rights to 'MacGyver' and is currently developing a movie with New Line based on the popular TV series, a project that some feel could be compromised by the unique circumstance of having the parody version hit theaters before the property it is spoofing.
"We feel they're infringing our rights," Zlotoff's lawyer, Paul Mayersohn, told the Hollywood Reporter. But while its possible the courts could rule in Zlotoff's favor if they decide 'MacGruber' damages the 'MacGyver' brand, other Hollywood legal experts aren't so sure.
"There's a broad right to parody, and in this instance it's clearly parody," said Alonzo Wickers, an entertainment lawyer who specializes in First Amendment law. "I don't think a viewer will believe the 'MacGyver' folks authorized this."
Perhaps because of the difficulty in convincing a court that 'MacGruber' falls outside the lines of fair use, Zlotoff and New Line haven't yet filed legal action, though their attorneys have presented Relativity Media with cease and desist orders in preparation for possible litigation.
With 'MacGruber' slated for an Apr. 23 release date, though, the countdown has begun for this explosive situation. The question now is, will it be defused 'MacGuyver'-style? Or will it, like the ticking bombs in 'MacGruber,' blow up in everyone's face?