The Fantasy Island television series has a spot in line for the movie makeover treatment. The original series was retired after seven seasons on ABC Network from the late 70’s through to the early 80’s. Viewers would hear Tattoo, played by Hervé Villechaize (The Mad King from The Forbidden Zone) ring the bell while loudly announcing “De plane! De plane!“, as a new guest arrived every Saturday. Ricardo Montalbán played Mr. Roarke, the host of Fantasy Island as well as immortalizing the character Khan Noonien Singh in both the original Star Trek series and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982). Mr. Roarke’s guests would drift through their fantasies with his supernatural aid as their deepest dreams would be realized. However, for some guests, they would venture into nightmare realms they might not return from as if Mr. Roarke were some type of Daemon at Death’s doorway.
To some, Fantasy Island appeared as any run-of-the mill family friendly escapism you would get from the minds behind Charlie’s Angels and The Love Boat. Fantasy Island, however, found itself along much darker shores. The series never really explained the magic behind the somewhat “Lynchian” island. In the mind of its star, Ricardo Montalbán, Fantasy Island is purgatory. Montalbán talked about it in an interview years after the show had come to its end, with the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Montalban goes on to explain how he envisioned Mr. Rourke as a fallen angel that had been cast down from heaven because of his pride and was forever charged with welcoming the newly dead to purgatory.
Sony Pictures has teamed with Blumhouse Productions, the same horror hit-maker studio that brought us Get Out, Paranormal Activity, and (of course) Halloween. Jeff Wadlow (Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare) is directing the project from a script penned by himself and Truth or Dare cowriters Chris Roach and Jillian Jacobs. The film stars Michael Pena (Ant-Man) as Mr. Roarke, while Lucy Hale (also Truth or Dare) will be playing a guest at the unusual island. Jimmy O. Yang (Crazy Rich Asians) has been added to the cast alongside Maggie Q (The Con Is On), Portia Doubelday (Carrie), and Ryan Hansen (Dog Days).
The film is currently scheduled for release February 28, 2020 so set your travel plans accordingly. Will you be checking in to Fantasy Island? Let us know on Twitter, Reddit, and in the Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook.