Hollywood is constantly regurgitating the past in hopes of striking gold with remakes of properties that people are already familiar with, so it was no surprise when, last month, Blumhouse announced that they were making a film version of the classic TV series ‘Fantasy Island’. The original ran on ABC from 1977-1984 and was an anthology of sorts, as various actors/characters would journey to the island, paying $50,000 in order to live out their greatest fantasies, which would all play out over the one hour episode. At the end, they would depart and the next week, a new batch of tourists would arrive. The constants were the island’s host Mister Roarke played by Ricardo Montalban and his assistant, Tattoo played by French little person Hervé Villechaize. In fact, you don’t even have to have ever seen ‘Fantasy Island’ to recognize Villechaize and his catchphrase “Ze plane! Ze plane!” which he uttered in the opening credits of every episode.
Both Montalban and Villechaize are deceased, but it would seem to be a given that Mr. Roarke and Tattoo would be at the center of the film. Except not. Mr. Roarke is the focus, but Tattoo isn’t in it at all! Instead, he has been replaced by an assistant named Tiffany. She is described as appearing to be a servant but “there’s more to her than meets the eye.” Unless that includes being a French male little person, I’m not buying.
But anyway, Mr. Roarke and Tattoo were a constant presence in every episode of ‘Fantasy Island’ but they served more as the set-up with the bulk of the stories devoted to the guests. The film will feature six such visitors.
GUESTS HAVE ARRIVED AT FANTASY ISLAND, EACH FILLED WITH A MIX OF EXCITEMENT AND TREPIDATION, ANXIOUS TO SEE THEIR FANTASIES REALIZED. HOWEVER, AS THE EVER-SAGE MR. ROARKE WARNS OUR EAGER HOPEFULS, “THE FANTASIES RARELY PLAY OUT AS YOU — OR I — MIGHT EXPECT. BUT THEY ALWAYS PLAY OUT EXACTLY AS THEY SHOULD.”…
Expect a sense of mystery, as it seems all six guests are hiding secrets that may impact the others and the Island itself. Here are the descriptions courtesy of That Hashtag Show:
- Gwen Olsen is a beautiful woman in her mid-30s. Filled with regret, her sad eyes hide a dark secret that could cost everyone on Fantasy Island their life.
- A breath-taking young woman who has never had to prove herself, Sloane Bridges is coasting through life. Though she’s newly married, with a seemingly perfect picture life, but appearances can be deceiving.
- JD is described as a bit of a cut-up who is still living out the glory days of his 20’s well into his 30’s. His humor and charm help make him the idol of his adopted younger brother Brax, who JD has brought to Fantasy Island to give him the greatest weekend of his life which might also be his last. Though not as cool as his brother JD, Brax has a refreshing sweetness. He has joined his older brother JD on the Island, is thrilled when granted a fantasy of “having it all,” but is terrified to discover that might mean having to fight for it.
- Confident and strong, Patrick Sullivan is a cop looking to play hero in a Call of Duty-esque fantasy, but secretly he yearns to be reunited with his long deceased father, a wish that the island will grant with dangerous consequences.
- The new guests will come across the mysterious Damon, a former guest who has been forced into an extended stay on the island, he is determined to reveal its secrets and expose Roarke.
In the original series, the guests paid $50,000 to live out their fantasies but adjusted for inflation, that comes closer to $200,000. It’s a little questionable that a policeman would squander that amount of money to live out a game of ‘Call of Duty’. Or that two brothers would shell that out for what sounds like a bachelor party weekend.
Jeff Wadlow, who directed the Blumhouse hit ‘Truth or Dare’ will be behind this picture, with a script from Chris Roach and Jillian Jacobs, who also penned ‘Truth or Dare’. Though Blumhouse is known for low-budget horror films, they are attempting to expand in scope, in both storytelling and finance.
There is not yet a release date, so check back for news as it emerges.
In the meantime, Peter Dinklage portrays Villechaize in the HBO film ‘My Dinner With Hervé’ which costars Jamie Dornan and features Andy Garcia as Ricardo Montalban. The film premieres on October 20.