The first look at Fox's attempt to reboot the 1970s series Fantasy Island has arrived. The studio released a teaser for their new take of the classic show, which originally ran from 1977 to 1984. This will be the third time it has received a makeover, following the original classic and the recent movie from Blumhouse which didn't quite meet box office expectations.
While the original show was led by Ricardo Montalban as Mr. Rourke, a man who would allow guests visiting the island the chance to live out their "fantasies" if they were willing to pay the price, this time around we have Roselyn Sanchez as Elena Roarke, a descendant of the island's original host. The premise of the reboot remains the same, now set in a present day luxury resort where any guest can come and request a fantasy and have it fulfilled. However, it is very rare that any of the fantasies turn out exactly as the clients expect them to.
In an early statement, Fantasy Island was described by Fox as a "semi-anthology" series with "emotional, provocative stories about people who arrive with dreams and desires and depart enlightened and transformed through the magical realism of Fantasy Island." In relation to the character played by Sanchez, it added that she is "sophisticated, insightful and always charming, [but] her calm exterior masks the challenges of the responsibilities she has assumed."
The original series was preceded by two made for TV movies, which were released in 1977 and 1978, with the series kicking off immediately after and quickly becoming memorable for the sight of Herve Villechaize as Roarke's assistant, Tattoo, shouting "The plane, the plane" as new guests were brought to the island to live out their requests. The show was destined to become a cult classic, and did so, still proving popular today.
In 1998, ABC revived the series for one season, with Malcolm McDowell taking over the Mr Roarke role. The show kept the similar theme of different people coming to the island with their requests, but something just didn't click and it was cancelled after just 13 episodes. In 2020, Blumhouse picked up the series to adapt as a horror film, again featuring the character of Mr. Roarke, this time played by Michael Pena.
While the basic premise remained of an island where fantasies come true, as you would expect with Blumhouse, blood and chaos ensue, while the film's final scenes referenced the original series by having one of the surviving characters become a personal assistant to Roarke and take on the name Tattoo. The film was financially a moderate success for the studio, bringing in around $48 million on the back of a $7 million budget, but it was critically mauled, achieving only a 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The reboot will no doubt try to avoid the failings of those who came before, but whether they can find the balance between appeasing fans of the original and bringing new viewers at the same time has always proved to be something that in many cases only travelling to an island that brings your fantasies to life could achieve. The new series is currently scheduled to premiere on 10th August and you can check out the teaser below.