8:42am PT by Rick Porter
'Fantasy Island' Update Scores Straight-to-Series Order at Fox
Fox is taking a trip to Fantasy Island.
The network has given a straight-to-series order to an updated version of the series, which first aired on ABC from 1978 to 1984. It's slated to air in summer 2021.
The new spin on the show comes from writers and showrunners Liz Craft and Sarah Fain (ABC's The Fix, The Shield, Angel). Sony Pictures TV, which produced the original, is producing with Gemstone Studios and Fox Entertainment.
"In continuing to develop outside of the traditional broadcast cycle, we've been particularly focused on providing viewers with summer series that offer a true escape from everyday life — to be sure, now more than ever," said Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn. "Fantasy Island is a beloved program, and the world Liz and Sarah have created for this contemporary adaptation is signature Fox and a perfect show for today's times. After all, who among us wouldn’t take a (safe) trip to Fantasy Island right now?"
The original series starred Ricardo Montalban as Mr. Roarke, whose remote Pacific island destination offered guests a chance to live out their fantasies — some romantic, some adventurous and some rather dark. Hervé Villechaize played Roarke's assistant, Tattoo.
Craft and Fain's show will more or less follow the original's structure, following guests seeking answers to "what if" questions and whose lives are changed through the magical realism of Fantasy Island. It will be the third reboot of the original: a one-season series on ABC in 1998-99 that starred Malcolm McDowell and a Blumhouse feature released earlier this year that turned the concept into a horror film.
"Fantasy Island has always been one of our most popular and iconic series, and when we heard Liz and Sarah’s vision of this world, we immediately knew they were onto something special," said Sony Pictures TV president Jeff Frost and co-president Jason Clodfelter. "We can't think of better partners than Fox to work on this entirely novel take on this classic property — this is truly a wonderful and exciting way to launch our new venture, Gemstone Studios."
Craft and Fain will executive produce the series.