Sam Elliott is having a contemporary comeback. He starred in The Ranch on Netflix since 2015 and earned his first (!) Oscar nomination in 2018 for A Star Is Born. (Personally, I love him the SJP-Hugh Grant rom-com Did You Hear About the Morgans? Check it out, seriously.) So as his iconic twang and unmistakable mustache have re-entered the popular culture, many viewers are excited for what the character actor will do next. And now, we know: MacGruber.
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When The Ranch premiered on Netflix in 2015, Americans were introduced to a new side of Sam Elliott: a snarky, brutally funny side. Set on the fictional Iron River Ranch, The Ranch reunited That 70's Show co-stars Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson as brothers Colt and Rooster Bennett working for their stern father Beau, played by none other than a steely Sam Elliott. During early seasons, Debra Winger also appears regularly as the Bennett matriarch.
With such a dynamic cast, the multi-camera comedy turned out to be a hit for Netflix. Especially among country fans. Every episode takes its name from a classic country tune by artists like Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, and Alabama. In an era full of more conceptual TV streaming, The Ranch offered a classic sitcom set-up with a radically centrist point of view. Though set in a deeply red community of Colorado, politics take a backseat throughout the chaotic series of farming misadventures -- which swells often to soapy proportions. For that reason, The Ranch is a rare treat. One which sadly had to end too soon.
Following multiple devastating rape allegations against lead actor Danny Masterson, his key character was written abruptly off the show. The professional decision made sense. And though The Ranch continued for another season, it was clear the show could not continue at the same level of quality. In January 2020, the fourth and final season concluded. And since then, fans have been wondering what's next for Sam Elliott. Especially now that we know he delivers a killer one-liner.
On June 9, Deadline announced that Sam Elliott would join the cast of the upcoming NBC's Peacock series MacGruber, based on Will Forte's recurring Saturday Night Live sketch. Parodying the 1980's TV show MacGyver, MacGruber has grown into its own franchise over the years. A spin-off movie, also called MacGruber, premiered in 2010. And even though that bombed, it seems a cult fandom for the flop is still alive today. The MacGruber TV series is now currently in the works with new cast member announcements trending.
Sam Elliott will play MacGruber's father in the action-comedy and after The Ranch, we don't doubt he'll lean into the stoic sass of that particular role. According to Variety, Laurence Fishburne and Mickey Rourke will also appear, as General Barrett Fasoose and "the mysterious villain" Brigadier Commander Enos Queeth, respectively.
Will Forte, of course, will reprise his role as MacGruber -- and his behind-the-scenes role as both writer and executive producer. (John Solomon and Jorma Taccone are also co-executive producers.) He's joined by fellow SNL alum Kristen Wiig as Vicki St. Elmo, MacGruber's ex-wife, and Ryan Phillippe as Dixon Piper, the mysterious villain.
Back in April of 2020, Forte told Collider that he was completing the final scripts for the eight-episode series. So with this fresh casting news -- more than one year later --, it would appear that filming is underway. Perhaps we can expect a teaser trailer soon! I'm in, as long as Elliott delivers on that stone-cold sarcasm. Something tells me MacGruber and his father are going to have a very antagonistic relationship...