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MacGruber locks in its nitwit super-nemesis: Billy Zane cast as Peacock series’ new villain

By Benjamin Bullard
MacGruber Announcement Still

If MacGruber has proven he’s good at one thing over the years, it’s having a stone-cold knack for being ridiculously inept — and usually at the absolute worst possible moment. But there’s nothing ridiculous or inept about the newest casting pickup for Peacock’s MacGruber, the upcoming streaming series set to hatch new boneheaded misadventures for our hapless, hilariously tech-challenged hero.

Even the world’s most moronic special ops guy needs a proper villain, and MacGruber has just found its big bad with the casting of Titanic star Billy Zane, according to the network. Zane will star as MacGruber’s nefarious nemesis alongside Will Forte’s titular hero in the new eight-episode series, which is sure to be an epic tear-jerker...of the can’t-stop-laughing kind.

Billy Zane Headshot

Idiotic names are part and parcel of the ‘Gruber-verse, and Zane’s villain comes with a great one: Brigadier Commander Enos Queeth. As Queeth, Zane is joining fellow new casting pickup Joseph Lee Anderson, who’ll appear in a recurring role. Timothy V. Murphy is also set to reprise his role as Constantine Bach from the 2010 movie, according to Peacock.

As if we need more convincing to watch a series based on a dude who’ll never, ever be MacGyver, Peacock also has a plot synopsis to get you in the MacGruber mood: “After rotting in prison for over a decade, America’s ultimate hero and uber patriot MacGruber (Will Forte) is finally released. His mission: to take down a mysterious villain from his past—Brigadier Commander Enos Queeth (Billy Zane). With the entire world in the crosshairs, MacGruber must reassemble his old team, Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig) and Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillippe) in order to defeat the forces of evil.”

Yep, that’s an international incident in the making alright. Also heading to the series to join (or perhaps just duck from) all the explosive fun are MacGruber first-timers Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix) and Sam Elliott (The Man Who Killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot) — just the kind of stars we want to see delivering super-serious lines in a series based on Forte’s epically silly original SNL skit from the mid-2000s.

Written and executive produced by Forte in partnership with EPs Lorne Michaels, John Goldwyn, Andrew Singer, Erin David, John Solomon, and Jorma Taccone, MacGruber began production in New Mexico in June. Solomon and Taccone, both co-writers with Forte from MacGruber’s early skit days at SNL, will direct the series. Peacock hasn't revealed a firm release date, but MacGruber is set to come crash-landing onto the platform sometime later this year.

MacGruber, Saturday Night Live, Peacock, and SYFY WIRE are all owned by NBCUniversal.

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