“It's a bit like wearing a flag,” the “Blue Bloods” star chuckled about wearing Thomas Magnum’s trademark tropical prints in public, but 22 years after his breakout series ended its run, Selleck is still eager to reprise the role on the big screen– he just needs Universal, the property’s owner, to give him back the keys to Robin Masters’ red Ferrari. With the recent success of TV properties-turned-film-franchises like “The A-Team,” Selleck thinks the time is right for Magnum’s return – but he’d rather see a revival than a reboot.
“I keep hearing talk of it now but I think they have a dilemma,” Selleck told Popcorn Biz. “I don't think they want me in it, but everybody sees me in it from the response I get. They'll either make it or they won't. I hope if they make it that whoever is in it will pay homage to it and not trivialize it and make fun of it like they do with so many television shows. The 'Magnum' audience is very loyal, and I would compare it a little more to 'Star Trek' than I would some of the other shows that they've trivialized.”
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Selleck hopes the studio sees the wisdom of allowing him to reclaim the role one day. “Look, if he's going to be a 17-year-old pubescent youth, I can't play him,” he laughed. “But it's weird with audiences: they know you're not the character, but they think these characters live and what they want to know is where is he now and what happened while we've been away. That's where a good movie should start. It shouldn't be a reunion show so that everyone can tune in to see how everyone has aged. I don't want to do that.”
In the mid-90s, Selleck even recruited bestselling author – and major “Magnum” fan – Tom Clancy to collaborate on a film story where Magnum had returned to the Navy but found himself far behind the curve and forced to return to his prior career as an island investigator, but frequent regime changes at Universal stalled the project. He thinks the story would still work today.
“They don't call and they don't write,” Selleck said, “but I can help them a lot.”