‘Magnum, P.I.’ to see
revival on big screen
It remains unknown whether
the original cast will be featured
"Magnum, P.I.", the popular TV show filmed in Hawaii during the 1980s, is headed for the big screen.
Universal Pictures, which produced the series starring Tom Selleck, and Imagine Entertainment, which recently filmed "Blue Crush" and "The Break" TV pilot on Oahu, have acquired the feature film rights to the long-running CBS drama.
Academy Award-winning producer and Imagine president Brian Grazer and the series co-creator Donald Bellisario will team up to produce the film.
Imagine executives declined comment on when production might begin, who would star, whether the series' ensemble cast -- Selleck, John Hillerman, Larry Manetti and Roger Mosley -- would appear, or how much of the film would be shot in Hawaii.
Grazer bought a multimillion dollar beachfront home on the North Shore last year, so sources believe much, if not all, of the "Magnum" film would be shot here.
Michael McCullers, who with Mike Myers wrote the second and third installments of the "Austin Powers" trilogy, is the screenwriter. He also adapted the classic children's book series "Curious George" for an upcoming Universal/Imagine animated film.
But no one has told any of the TV series' actors, including Selleck, about the film.
From 1980 to 1988, Selleck portrayed Thomas Magnum, a former naval intelligence officer hired to head security at the estate of wealthy absentee owner Robin Masters.
Selleck, 58, is in New York to promote his upcoming CBS movie "12 Mile Road" and was unavailable for comment.
Selleck's publicist confirmed that the actor had not been contacted about the "Magnum" film and had no further comment.
In earlier interviews, Selleck said he would not be opposed to appearing in a possible "Magnum" film.
"I'll probably have to be in it, unless they recast the role, and I don't think they're going to get very rich doing that," he said. "It's going to have to be a good script. People seem to want to see ('Magnum' on the big screen) and the studios ought to realize that."
But Manetti was blunt with his displeasure that none of the four actors had been contacted.
"Bellisario never had the common courtesy to let us know (about this deal) and I don't think Tom will be very happy about this at all," Manetti said from his San Fernando Valley, Calif., home. "For years we had talked about doing television movies and now Bellisario has taken that away."
Manetti insisted that a "Magnum" movie can't be done without the original actors.
"There are films where you can replace characters, but this isn't one of them," he said. "It's like Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck. You can't just put a mustache on someone's face and make believe it's Tom Selleck. "No one will buy a 6-foot-4 look-alike."
Donne Dawson, Hawaii Film Office manager, said a "Magnum" movie by two production companies that have a long relationship with Hawaii is "very exciting."
"'Magnum' was a huge hit here and is part of Hawaii's illustrious production history," she said. "Hawaii's relationship with Universal and Brian Grazer has been very rich and we only hope that a good part of this film will take place here."