Greg Peters
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May 19, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

STARRING Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe, Val Kilmer
WRITTEN BY Will Forte, John Solomon
DIRECTED BY Jorma Taccone

If you’re shocked that Will Forte’s hapless, MacGyver-lampooning Saturday Night Live character, MacGruber, has made it to the Hollywood big time, you’re not alone. So is Forte himself. ”Every once in a while we would come up with MacGruber ideas too risqué for the show and joke, ‘Oh, save it for the movie,”’ says the comedian. “Never in a million years did we think that day would come.”

Then, last spring, SNL honcho Lorne Michaels asked Forte to write a spec MacGruber script with show writer-directors Jorma Taccone and John Solomon. Rather than just expand the sketch, the trio penned a tongue-in-cheek homage to ’80s explosion-fests like Lethal Weapon and Die Hard. ”We wanted to construct an action movie and stick MacGruber into it,” says Taccone, who also directs. The plot finds our not-so-super hero coming out of retirement to confront Val Kilmer’s nuclear-bomb-stealing madman, Dieter von Cunth. That name is, according to Taccone, just one of many reasons MacGruber deserves an R rating. ”I always thought people would make us change the name,” he says. ”I mean, you can’t even say it on TV, right? I don’t think people can possibly comprehend what we got away with.”

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