I have to agree that without the original cast it would be awful and I don't want to see Magnum before going to Hawaii/Robin's Nest/Ferrari.......
What I would like to see the studio do is bring back the main characters AND for a villian/bad guy bring someone in with present day star power that will help with the box office receipts. This way everybody is happy and it stays true to the show. If you wanted to change one person in the cast, I think it should be Lily, who is all grown-up now and changed for sure. In fact she could also be played by a present day star with a huge following! As John Hillerman gets older, the chances of him starring as JQH are getting slimmer and slimmer. I would like to see at least a cameo from him behind his desk, hear his voice on the phone (like Robin) or his character does die if John can't do either of these. NO ONE should play Higgins or the main characters other than the originals - period! I agree the dogs have passed and I like the ideas of new ones with Zeus the III etc. or new doberman pups at the very end of the show being introduced.
Studios do these movies and wonder why they bomb and that's because they don't listen to the fans (I thought the customer was always right). You put Tom Selleck and crew in the movie and I'll glady pay to go see it, but if you replace them I will not support their decision and hope it bombs miserably. Invest the money in what made the show a hit in the first place and it will do just fine. Last comment: As for replacements, what type of Ferrari would be at the estate after all these years? It is hard to replace the 308, but the 458 Italia is pretty nice! I think the old 308 should make a cameo in the show parked on the estate as a subtle reminder or maybe not...... Robin now has a huge collection of vintage Ferraris and Thomas looks at the collection and chooses the 308 to drive when he is called back to the estate and turns to us and gives us that famous smile...cue the music......
I think the trickiest thing about a Magnum movie - in the theatre - is that Tom Selleck's portrayal of Magnum is what sells the show. As we've seen with the A-Team movie, it is possible to recast the show and be successful. But as we know, Magnum isn't the A-Team. The nuances of the relationships are fabulous once you know the characters and the world of MPI, but the vast majority of the ticket buying public haven't seen a Magnum episode in 25 years.
With that said, a re-cast show would probably revolve around the plot of the pilot, where people would get to understand who this lucky guy is and how he got into this situation. Anything else (that is likely to please us) would have to be produced as a made for tv movie. Maybe the Spike network could finance such a thing - market is as a real "guy show" type of thing. That is, if the Universal people would go along with it.
But would I pay to see a remake with a new Magnum in the theatre? Probably. I'd be critical, but I couldn't resist.