Fantasy Island is getting rebooted … again. Sony TV is working on another remake of the the 1970s drama series, and this time, the story is expected to feature a female lead, reports Deadline. ABC has ordered a put pilot, meaning that the network has committed to air the episode or pay a penalty.
Both the original 1970s series and its 1998 revival focus on the mythical Fantasy Island, a destination in the tropics where travelers go to live out their fantasies, courtesy of a company owned by the mysterious Mr. Roarke (played by Ricardo Montalban in the ’70s and later by Malcom McDowell).
In the latest version of the series, however, the head of the company will trade out the male roll for a smart and sexy woman. Much like the original, episodes are expected to focus on two fantasies each and, along the way, there will also be storylines about Ms. Roarke. No word yet as to whether or not the new series will seek to revive the original head of the Island’s right hand man, Tattoo, played so memorably by the late Hervé Villechaize.
The original series had supernatural and mythological elements, with some fantasies including ghosts, demons, mermaids, time-travel, and more. They were at times dangerous, and guests were warned that fantasies couldn’t be stopped until they’d run their course (though Mr. Roarke would intervene in life-threatening scenarios). Often, there was a lesson to be learned in the guest’s experience.
Fantasy Island is written by Sheldon Turner, the screenwriter behind X-Men: First Class and Up in the Air. He’ll also team up with Jennifer Klein, his Vendetta Prods. colleague, as well as Josh Berman to executive produce. Turner and Klein previously worked on the pilot The Advocate for ABC.
The original Fantasy Island was created by Gene Levitt and executive produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg. The series ran on ABC from 1977-1984 until the network decided to revive it in the late ’90s, but that version only ran for a single season. It’ll be interesting to see how it fares this time around with its new gender twist.