Low-budget horror hit makers Blumhouse are set to revive a classic TV series from yesteryear, ‘Fantasy Island’. Jeff Wadlow, who directed the $100 million hit ‘Truth or Dare’ for the studio is re-teaming with his writing team from that movie, Chris Roach and Jillian Jacobs, to craft the script for this adaptation. Wadlow will also serve as an executive producer.
Wadlow directed ‘Kick-Ass 2’ and has been attached to helm several other high-profile films which never quite came to fruition (at least not with him at the head). He was attached to direct 20th Century Fox’s ‘X-Force’ which is now being spearheaded by Drew Goddard. He was also set to direct ‘Masters of the Universe’, which is now being handled by twin brothers Aaron and Adam Nee. And finally, he was due to direct the ‘Bloodshot’ movie, based on the Valiant Entertainment comic book series, but that is now in the hands of first-timer Dave Wilson. But it was the success he had with ‘Truth of Dare’– starring Lucy Hale and Tyler Posey– earlier this year that led to Blumhouse entrusting him with ‘Fantasy Island’.
Traditionally, Blumhouse films are made on a shoestring budget, but with ‘Halloween’ and ‘Glass’ coming up, they are starting to spend a little more for films that could appeal outside their teenage demographic. (And show me a teenager who’s ever heard of ‘Fantasy Island’…) So it’s possible this could be a slightly more expensive endeavor. But considering how TV remakes haven’t been doing so well– ‘C.H.I.P.S.’, ‘Baywatch’, etc.– this may not be too extravagant.
‘Fantasy Island’, created by Gene Levitt, aired on ABC from 1977-1984. The premise is that wealthy visitors would pay $50,000 (adjusted for inflation, that would be over $200,000) to live out their greatest fantasy on this mystical island. The show starred Ricardo Montalbán as Mister Roarke, the island’s host. French little person Hervé Villechaize played Tattoo, his gregarious companion, whose exclamation in each episode “Ze plane! Ze plane!” became a popular catchphrase.
‘Fantasy Island’ was paired with another ABC hit ‘The Love Boat’ on Saturday nights. Both shows were popular for featuring famous guest stars. Among the hundreds to walk on ‘Fantasy Island”s sandy shores were Frankie Avalon, Scott Baio, Ed Begley Jr., Milton Berle, Bill Bixby, Linda Blair, Danny Bonaduce, LeVar Burton, David Cassidy, Yvonne Craig, Sammy Davis Jr., James Doohan, Annette Funicello, Estelle Getty, Andy Griffith, Florence Henderson, Ernie Hudson, Tom Jones, Casey Kasem, Don Knotts, Tina Louise, Rue McClanahan, Maureen McCormick, Joe Namath, Julie Newmar, Leslie Nielsen, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tori Spelling, Dawn Wells, Adam West and of course Charo.
Hopefully, this means that the film adaptation will also feature a bevvy of colorful celebs.
Blumhouse hasn’t scheduled a release date for ‘Fantasy Island’ yet, so check back for updates.