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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

dream cast: hypothetical ‘Fantasy Island’ movie

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to remake an 80s classic TV show or movie with an all-new cast. This week, in honor of Ricardo Montalban, who just passed away: Fantasy Island, the 1977-84 ABC series about dreams coming true.

(If you have a suggestion for an 80s TV show or movie we should play with, feel free to email me.)
The original cast included:

Mr. Roarke: Ricardo Montalban
Tattoo: Hervé Villechaize

Now, considering the major dearth of little-people actors, I don’t think we need to absolutely cast a small person as Tattoo. You can if you like, but I hear that Peter Dinklage isn’t available… though it would be interesting to see him put his particular brand of snark on the character.

So don’t worry about size: think about capturing the essence of the character when you’re recasting.

My dream cast — gender switched!:

Mr. Roarke: Judi Dench
Tattoo: Kristen Chenoweth

Da plane! Da plane!



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  • PaulW

    Just to warn you, there was an attempt in the late 90s if I recall with a tv reboot, recasting Mr. Rourke with Malcolm McDowell and adding a few more sidekicks to make the show seem more… Tempest-esque. You know, from Shakespeare.

    The problem with casting this as a movie is that the Fantasy Island concept fits better as a serial, with a set of rotating guest stars showing up to fulfill certain ‘fantasies’ much akin to a sci-fi/fantasy anthology of collected stories. Can’t really picture this as a movie. Only as a rebooted tv show.

    I’d cast it as:
    Mr. Rourke: Chris “The” Walken
    Tattoo: The Rock (go the other way, get a bulky but dim sidekick)
    Ariel (one thing to keep from the earlier reboot is the idea of a mysterious femme): The Frieda (Pinto, from Slumdog Millionaire)

  • PaulW

    You know, for some reason it’d make more sense to have Dinklage as Rourke and not Tattoo… hmmm

    (If I ever got a chance to make the live-action Star Blazers, I’d hire Dinklage on Day One as the ship’s saki-drinking doctor. I would have tried to get Patrick MacGoohan as Captain Avatar, but now… :weeping: )

  • JoshDM

    Though Walken is an excellent suggestion, I’m going to go with the visual aspect.

    Mr. Rourke: either George Hamilton or Ray Wise.

  • swervy jervy

    Tattoo: Johnny Rotten

  • The most obvious choice to play Mr. Roarke? Call me ethnocentric but I’d go with Antonio Banderas.

    Sure it seems unlikely he’d do a weekly series now but then again how many people twenty years ago would have predicted Alec Baldwin someday doing a weekly sitcom?

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