As it was infamously pointed out in All That Jazz, “everything old is new again,” and that couldn’t be clearer than in television and movies which have yet to hit bottom on past works they can reimagine for a new audience. And with the ’80s remaining a popular decade it was only a matter of time before the fates aligned to produce a remake of the Hawaiian-set crime Magnum PI, with Jay Hernandez announced to star as series lead Thomas Magnum in the pilot.
Running for eight years, between ’80 and ’88, Magnum PI originally starred the mustachioed Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a devil-may-care private investigator living on the island of Oahu who solves crimes by day and wines and dines ladies by night. Unfortunately the comedic factor the series has taken on since its cancellation is being removed for this remake from the sound of it. The CBS remake describes Hernandez’s Magnum as a “decorated ex-Navy SEAL” who finds a new calling after coming home from Afghanistan. The comparison to the network’s own popular series Blue Bloods, actually starring the original Magnum, Tom Selleck, seems apropos.
CBS has a staunch target demographic, but the love for Magnum PI stems from Selleck’s charisma and the lush tropical setting. So far it’s unclear whether this reboot will be set in Hawaii at all, or if Magnum will retain his Guy Friday, Jonathan Higgins (initially played by the late John Hillerman). It’s also up in the air whether this is a series or not, considering the IMDb listing for this cites it as a “TV Movie.” It’s possible the movie could be acting as a means of gauging interest in a full series.
Hernandez though is an inspired choice to bring Magnum PI to a new audience. As if audiences won’t feel old enough considering this is being remade, but it’s been almost 20 years since Hernandez came to prominence in the teen drama Crazy/Beautiful, and he’s been paying his dues with solid turns in Bad Moms, Suicide Squad and the Hostel series. He also starred in the Netflix movie Bright last year. Now if we can only figure out whether he’ll be rocking a legendary Tom Selleck-inspired mustache?