What Might Have Been: Tom Clancy's 'Magnum P.I.'

For all the beloved works the late author Tom Clancy leaves behind, there is one that will forever be a question mark for his fans. In an interview published yesterday by Yahoo TV, former "Magnum P.I." star Tom Selleck revealed that the spy auteur was such a fan of the show, he attempted to set up and lead a big-screen adaptation back in the 1990s.

From the Selleck interview:

Q: Will we ever see another "Magnum"?

A: It's been a weird progression with "Magnum." Tom Clancy is a huge "Magnum" fan. In the early '90s, he'd done a couple of wildly successful movie adaptations of his books. We got together, and I went to Universal, and I said, "It's time we could do a series of feature films." They were very interested, and I had Tom, who wanted to do the story, and I had this package put together, but Universal's the only studio that could make it, and they went through three ownership changes in the '90s, and I think that was the real window for "Magnum." If they did a "Magnum" movie, I think it's been pretty clear — because I've heard rumors there were scripts and all — I don't think they see me doing it.

The idea of Magnum — the affable but secretly tormented Vietnam vet with deep military training — to head off on a Jack Ryan-type adventure to save the world is too delicious for fans of the late show to contemplate without swooning. Sadly now, contemplate is all they'll ever be able to do, with the knowledge of the great Clancy opus that got away.