MacGruber Recasts Mickey Rourke’s Villain Role With Billy Zane

With production already underway some additional cast details for the highly-anticipated MacGruber TV series have been revealed, notably with a major adjustment having taken place. The Hollywood Reporter brings word that actor Billy Zane has stepped into the role of the “mysterious villain” for the series, Brigadier Commander Enos Queeth, replacing Academy Award nominee Mickey Rourke who had previously been announced to be playing the part. It’s unclear why Rourke departed the project. Other additions include Joseph Lee Anderson as Major Harold Kernst, described as “right-hand man of Laurence Fishburne’s General Fasoose,” with actor Timothy V. Murphy reprising his part from the movie as henchman Constantine Bach.

Will Forte will once again play the titular character, reprising his role from the SNL sketches where he originated and the cult 2010 comedy that he starred in as well. Kristen Wiig and Ryan Phillippe will also reprise their parts from the movie with director Jorma Taccone on board to direct the new installments. Other newcomers to the cast include Sam Elliot as Perry, MacGruber’s father, with Fishburne’s character the one now married to MacGruber’s ex-wife, Vicki St. Elmo (Wiig). An official description for the series reads as follows:

“After rotting in prison for over a decade, America’s ultimate hero and uber patriot MacGruber (Forte) is finally released. His mission: to take down a mysterious villain from his past—Brigadier Commander Enos Queeth (Rourke). With the entire world in the crosshairs, MacGruber must reassemble his old team, Vicki St. Elmo (Wiig) and Dixon Piper (Phillippe) in order to defeat the forces of evil.”

The Peacock original series has been given an eight episode order, each running half an hour.

Forte will also write and executive produce this new series with John Solomon and Taccone,with the trio previously collaborating on the MacGruber film. Lorne Michael, John Goldwyn, Andrew Singer, and Erin David will also executive produce the series.

MacGruber began as a recurring sketch on SNL as a parody of MacGyver, appearing in a handful of episodes on the sketch series. After this he made the leap to the big screen, like some other SNL characters before like Blues Brothers, Wayne’s World, and It’s Pat. The movie was a major flop upon release, grossing less than its $10 million budget at the domestic box office and becoming one of the biggest disappointments of the year.

Despite all of that the film now has a cult reputation and a major following from film fans around the world (even Oscar nominee Christopher Nolan claims to be a fan) and it’s partially because of the relentless optimism from MacGruber fans worldwide that has resulted in this series happening.

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