ABC is taking another shot at nostalgia with a revival of ‘Fantasy Island’.
The network is going back to the 1970s in hopes to capitalize on that ‘Island’ magic. The original series starred Ricardo Montalban as Mr. Roarke, the care taker of an island with the intention to bring his guest’s fantasies to life. ABC tried previously to find a new audience for the franchise when it cast actor Malcolm McDowell as Mr. Roarke in the 1998 series ‘Fantasy Island’. The ’98 reboot was canceled halfway through its season, but was concluded on UPN and the Sci-Fi Channel given its more supernatural take on the subject matter. There was one effort after this in which Sony teamed with Mark Burnett (‘Shark Tank’, ‘The Voice’, lots of stuff) for a reality show built on the franchise, but that never made it to air.
This re-reboot is taking a page from the new ‘Ghostbusters’ film currently in development, recasting the main character as a woman (who I can only assume will be Ms. Roarke) and is described as a sexy San Franciscan that provides clients with his or her most intimate, dark or outlandish fantasy. It sounds more like a premise for a Cinemax show, but good on you, ABC. The show has received a script order from the network and is in good hands with Sheldon Turner (‘Up in the Air’, ‘X-Men: First Class’) writing it.
‘Fantasy Island’ has had an interesting path, starting as a pair of made-for-TV movies to a successful seven season run to a couple reboots and a failed reality show. Hopefully this reboot will have what the last lacked, the memorable and classic character of Tattoo. To many, Tattoo is the central memory that remains from the original show. His trademark announcement of a new guest arrivals, his exclamation of “De plane! De plane!”, is a meme that has lived on in popular culture and is still referenced and parodied to this day. I wonder if they will bring back Tattoo this time and, if so, will they also make him a her?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter