John Travolta In Unlikely Talks To Join MacGruber As Lead Villain: EXCLUSIVE

NBCUniversal's show, MacGruber, set their sights high by going into negotiations with John Travolta for the lead villain before the pandemic shutdown.

NBCUniversal’s upcoming show, MacGruber, had set their sights high by going into negotiations with John Travolta for the lead villain in the upcoming streaming series before the pandemic shutdown.

The entertainment industry is still reeling from the unforeseen coronavirus pandemic that has affected every aspect of human life. Shows and film productions were busily whittling away as late as early March before all work moved to people’s home offices and couches. MacGruber wasn’t an exception, as casting for the new series was active for the upcoming comedy until fairly recently. The show is a follow-up to the character who spoofed 1980’s television hit and icon, MacGuyver. The series starred Richard Dean Anderson and followed the secret agent who possessed genius level engineering skills, that he used to get out of countless jams.

The show was first spoofed on Saturday Night Live with Will Forte in the lead role and in 2010 spun off into a feature film. Forte was rejoined by his Saturday Night Live co-star Kristen Wiig (Wonder Woman 1984), Ryan Phillippe, Maya Rudolph, and Val Kilmer (Batman Forever) in a rare return to the silver screen. The film was written by Forte, Jorma Taccone, and John Solomon, who are all returning as the writing team and creative force behind the new series. Taccone will also be taking on directing duties for the series as well.

MacGruber vs John Travolta?

Just like the surprising casting of Kilmer in the feature film, NBCUniversal is shooting high for its new bad guy in the series. Before the pandemic disrupted the production, screen legend John Travolta was in negotiations to play the series villain, Commander Enos Queeth. Queeth is described as a “diabolical villain intent on winning any challenge he faces. He’s smart, cunning, doesn’t have time for bullshit and lives to embarrass MacGruber at every opportunity available.”

It has been relayed to us that originally they were shooting for a Martin Lawrence or Don Cheadle “type,” yet somehow landed in negotiations with Travolta.

Travolta may have made a name for himself playing good guys in movies like Saturday Night Fever and Look Who’s Talking. but he turned heads with his 1997 hit Face/Off, which proved that the film icon could play a convincing villain on screen. However, in countless other roles over the past few decades, Travolta’s appearances have left a lot to be desired. Anybody check out Gotti?


If Travolta signs on, though, his particular brand of scenery chewing and ability to project swarminess would be an amazing yin to MacGruber’s clueless yang.

MacGruber’s Premise

We found out the premise of the new MacGruber series as well. The inept hero has spent over ten years locked up in prison. He is released and tasked with a mission to save the world from Brigadier Commander Enos Queeth, an enemy who shares a mysterious past with MacGruber. Vicki and Piper, Kristen Wiig and Ryan Phillippe respectively who are both set for their return, join America’s clueless hero to take down these evil forces. However, they soon find that the real problem may be coming from within.

Hopefully, these negotiations come to full bloom and Travolta decides to sign the dotted line. Originally MacGruber was slated to go before cameras in the second quarter of 2020, however it’s unclear how long the delay will be until the production regroups. Given that it would be a draw for the new Peacock streaming service, it’s hard to imagine this project falling to the wayside. So, just like everything else, we will patiently wait for this comedy to come into fruition.

MacGruber Team Will Forte Kirsten Wiig Ryan Phillippe

Do you think John Travolta would be a good fit for MacGruber? What is your favorite MacGruber or MacGuyver memory? Are you excited for the series? Let us know what you think in our comment section or on our social media!


Braxter Timberlake

Braxter Timberlake

Braxter Timberlake was born in New York and raised in California. He’s a graduate of UC Berkeley and the School of Hard Knocks and is always in search of the next adventure. The daring writer and editor of The Illuminerdi is also a veteran of film and television production, with an unquenchable thirst for stories, whether on the comic page, video game console, or small, medium, or the big screen. After years of expeditions in search of K’un-Lun and Wakanda, he now spends his time investigating all things geek and shares his spoilery findings with anyone with open ears. Aside from on the internet, he can be found on the basketball court, hiking with his dog, or at a screening near you.