Ryan Kavanaugh Delivers "MacGruber" To Fans

January 24, 2022 0 Comments

The acclaimed Saturday Night Live skit “MacGruber” has many fans, but this was not enough to bring the comic triumph to the big screen. Ryan Kavanaugh, the owner of TrillerNet, was indispensable in making the project a success.

“MacGruber,” a hilarious take on the generational classic “MacGyver,” premiered on Saturday Night Live in 2007. A creation of Jorma Taccone and played by Will Forte, the sketch character MacGruber is a special operations agent tasked with deactivating a time-sensitive explosive. Constantly distracted and often inebriated, the MacGruber character is, nonetheless, endearing to audiences familiar with the seriousness of Macgyver.

Ryan Kavanaugh grew up as a “MacGyver” fan, and he immensely enjoyed the Saturday Night Live caricatures. When the idea for a film adaptation came about, Ryan Kavanaugh was the head of Relativity Media, a Hollywood studio he started in 2004. The studio distributed nearly 200 films, including the popular comedy “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” as well as the critically acclaimed drama “3:10 to Yuma.”

Ben Silverman, the head of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, brought him the idea of doing a “MacGruber” film. Kavanaugh explains that Silverman called him one day, saying excitedly, “I’ve got a really good idea.” They agreed there was more than enough material to bring the project to theaters, and they soon discovered it was “particularly fun” to find the right balance of seriousness and jest. With no outside support, Ryan Kavanaugh and Ben Silverman financed the entire project themselves.

In addition to its well-written script, Ryan Kavanaugh delivered an all-star cast to the 2010 film. The Hollywood legend, Val Kilmer, a personal friend of Kavanaugh, tops the list. Kavanaugh describes their interaction after pitching the hilarious but low-paying arch-villain role to Kilmer: “Sounds like fun. I’m in.”