The upcoming Universal big-screen version of ''Magnum, P.I.,'' which is expected to shoot in Hawaii next month, could be two very different movies. It could be a continuation of the 1980s detective series, with Tom Selleck returning to his role as Vietnam veteran Thomas Magnum, older but still solving crimes with his fellow-vet pals. Or it could be an update, with George Clooney starring as the sleuth, now a Gulf War vet. ''I like Tom a lot but we really aren't in that decision process yet,'' producer Brian Grazer told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin last month. Of Clooney, he said: ''George is really, really good and he may or may not'' play the lead role.
On Wednesday, Greg Dean Schmitz, who compiles news about films in production for Yahoo! Movies, says he was told by a source close to the production that Clooney was close to signing, and that LL Cool J would play Magnum's helicopter pilot pal, T.C. No word on who would play fussy Higgins, caretaker of the estate where Magnum lives, or Magnum's other veteran chum, bar owner Rick. However, ''Magnum'' fans can expect such elements as ''the lads'' (Higgins' Dobermans) and Magnum's Ferrari to make the leap to the big screen.
Viewers can also expect the movie to be tongue-in-cheek, since it's being written by ''Austin Powers'' screenwriter Michael McCullers. Donald Belisario, who created the CBS show, is also a producer of the movie, according to the Star-Bulletin.