Foxs Fantasy Island Star Roselyn Sanchez On Why Reboot Doesnt Have A Version Of Tattoo
Foxs reboot of Fantasy Island centers around Roselyn Sánchezs Elena Roarke, a descendant of the iconic Mr. Roarke from the original series. While this Roarke has many things in common with her great uncle who ran the luxury resort before her one clear distinction between the two and between this reimagined show and its ancestor is Elena doesnt have a sidekick named Tattoo .
In fact, she doesnt really have an assistant at all when we first meet her. And the shows shoutout to Tattoos iconic Fantasy Island catchphrase, The plane! The plane!, is actually delivered by Elena herself in the premiere episode, as viewers will see when it airs Tuesday at 9/8c on Fox.
So why did this modern take on Fantasy Island pay homage to Villechaizes character rather than try to re-create him in some form?
Craft and Fain confirmed Sánchezs take on why their Fantasy Island has no Tattoo when TheWrap spoke with them Monday.
I dont think we had any discussions about having a direct descendant of the original Tattoo, because it feels like Roarke is clearly the sort of island guardian, Craft told TheWrap in a joint interview with her co-creator. And that person should have the person who is the best fit for them in that role, instead of having both of them be passed down familial. It seemed like it should be a more individual choice.
Fantasy Island premieres Tuesday at 9/8c on Fox.
Where’s Tattoo In Fantasy Island 2021
Fox’s reboot of Fantasy Island stars Rosalyn Sanchez as the descendant of the original’s Mr. Roarke but here’s why Tattoo won’t be in the new show.
Fantasy Island 2021 won’t have a new version of Tattoo and here’s why Fox’s reboot isn’t including one of the original series’ most iconic characters. The new Fantasy Island stars Rosalynd Sanchez as Elena Roarke, a descendant of Fantasy Island’s original proprietor, Mr. Roarke . The reboot also stars Kiara Barnes as Ruby Okoro while Bellamy Young, Dave and Odette Annable, and Josie Bissett, Laura Leighton, and Daphne Zuniga from Melrose Place are slated to appear as guests looking for their fantasies to be fulfilled.
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Rosalyn Sanchez told The Wrap that the new Fantasy Island will not give Elena Roarke her own version of Tattoo because of “creative liberties” the reboot is taking to update the series for 2021. Sanchez explained, ” decided to make this host female and very much Hispanic and lets give her a sidekick and lets give her a right hand that is not going to be what people expect…” Elena will have an assistant in Ruby but their relationship will be of a different nature than Mr. Roarke had with Tattoo in the original Fantasy Island. In fact, in the first episode of Fantasy Island 2021, it’s Elena who utters Tattoo’s iconic “The plane! The plane!” catchphrase to evoke the original show’s dapper dwarf and bridge its legacy with the reboot.
The Untold Truth Of Fantasy Island
Decades before the weird and mysterious tropical dystopia of Lost attracted millions of TV viewers to ABC each week, the network regularly delighted audiences with Fantasy Island. A reliable, comforting presence on its Saturday-night lineup for years, the 1976-to-1984 show took place on a beautiful, faraway island where a mysterious, seemingly benevolent gentleman in a white suit known only as Mr. Roarke welcomed guests who’d forked over a small fortune for him and his team of associates to conspire to make their wildest dreams come true. But guests of Fantasy Island had to be careful what they wished for their requests would inevitably take a turn or a twist, and they’d wind up in danger, wanting something else entirely or viewing their life in a whole new way.
As Mr. Roarke might say, smiles everyone: Here’s the untold truth of Fantasy Island.
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The Network Wanted Orson Welles In The Lead Role
ABC pushed hard to have the venerable, if faded star as the show’s headliner. At the time, the onetime Citizen Kane prodigy was making art films like F For Fake with his lover Oja Kodar. Despite the network’s desire for Orson Welles, Spelling wanted Montalbán and won, obviously. Another legendary Hollywood director, John Huston, was reportedly considered for the role of Roarke.
Image: The Everett Collection
Horror Prequel Film Adaptation
A horror-themed prequel film adaptation of the television series was released. Sony Pictures released the film and produced by Blumhouse Productions. Director and screenwriter Jeff Wadlow directed the adaptation from a script by Wadlow, Chris Roach, and Jillian Jacobs. The film was released on February 14, 2020 to overwhelmingly negative reviews.
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They’re Still Wearing White To Greet Guests
The new “Island” frequently references its forebearer, starting with opening credits that reveal a lush setting it’s filmed on location in Puerto Rico and modern theme music inspired by the original’s melody.
Elena, like her older relative, dresses in white, sometimes in a suit complete with a tailored vest. Ruby wears white, too, as did Tattoo.
Guests still arrive via seaplane, but also helicopter and parachute. Elena drives to meet guests in a red Jeep, an updated tribute to Mr. Roarke’s quirky topless/doorless red station wagon with the red-and-white-striped canvas top.
Elena preserves his signature staff instruction “Smiles, everyone! Smiles!” and delivers the simple but memorable greeting, “Welcome to Fantasy Island!” Unfortunately, Elena’s question to each guest “What can the island do for you?” sounds too much like a UPS slogan.
The first series cast many stars from other ABC shows . That’s replicated by the Fox edition, which features guest turns by Bellamy Young , Leslie Jordan and a “Melrose Place” reunion of Josie Bissett, Laura Leighton and Daphne Zuniga.
Episodes are still divided into two main stories, although some plotlines are more contemporary: Tuesday’s premiere features a morning news anchor who wishes to eat as much as she wants without gaining weight after a lifetime of self-denial. And an older man learns his wife was in a romantic relationship with a woman before she married him.
She Was Already Acting Prior To Fantasy Island
When Schaal joined Fantasy Island in 1981, she was 27 years old and had already appeared on a number of TV shows, including Welcome Back, Kotter, Little House on the Prairie, and It’s a Living. She also appeared on Rhoda, which starred her stepmother Valerie Harper. Schaal’s father, actor Richard Schaal, was also on the show.
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Start Your Day With Laist
Before killing himself in 1993, Fantasy Island star Hervé Villechaize gave one last interview. The journalist was Sacha Gervasi, an Englishman sent to L.A. to write a “where are they now”-type story.
What Gervasi actually experienced was something deeper, weirder, and more inspiring. His interview became the basis for the new HBO movie My Dinner with Hervé, which Gervasi wrote and directed.
Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage plays Villechaize in the film, which takes place over the course of one debaucherous night.
Dinklage and Villechaize both have forms of dwarfism. Unlike Dinklage, the most notable roles of Villechaize’s career were often demeaning, caricaturing his height and high-pitched voice. One of the key things that drew Dinklage to the role was their human areas of overlap.
“There’s a funny combination in both of us of, for lack of a better word, anger and theatricality,” Dinklage said when we spoke with him and Gervasi.
Villechaize rose to fame for his role as Tattoo in popular late ’70s TV show Fantasy Island, starring opposite Ricardo Montalban. He’d previously playedNick Nack in the James Bond movie the Man with the Golden Gun. While filming, Dinklage was asked to re-create many of the scenes and stunts from Villechaize’s career.
While he said that he’d never agree to a role if every script page included a nod to his height, Dinklage also acknowledged that no role can totally ignore it.
Is Mr Roarke The Devil An Angel A Ghost Or Something Else
Mr. Roarke appears in more than 150 episodes of Fantasy Island, yet viewers learn very little about the character. The action of the show only invites more questions, mostly about the true nature and motivations of Mr. Roarke. It’s heavily implied that he isn’t quite human, nor a legitimate, honest individual. He seems to delight in getting others to pay a large amount of money to come to his island, where he can thoroughly mess with them, suggesting that Mr. Roarke is a demon or Satan, although he’s probably not the latter because Satan visits Fantasy Island in one episode. Mr. Roarke could be a wizard, an immortal being, or simply ancient he alludes to friendships with long-dead historical figures like Cleopatra and Helen of Troy. He could even be a ghost, as he claims to know the Angel of Death. That one might be close to the truth, or at least as interpreted by Ricardo Montalbán, the actor who portrayed Mr. Roarke.
“The character Mr. Roarke, I had to identify him with something,” Montalbán told the Television Academy Foundation, dismissing notions that he was God or the devil. “I decided this man was an angel that still had a little bit of sinner pride in him too proud,” Montalbán added and then suggested that in his mind, Mr. Roarke was “in charge of Purgatory,” the in-between place between Heaven and Hell in which some religious people believe.
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Fantasy Island Was A Series Of Movies Before It Was A Show
Made-for-television movies were a huge part of the business of the big three American broadcast networks in the 1970s. In the 1976-77 season, the three channels programmed 11 different movie-of-the-week time slots, with ABC sporting several of them. That’s quite a lot of two-hour blocks to fill each week, so ABC hired Aaron Spelling to produce Fantasy Island as a 1976 made-for-TV movie.
It performed well enough that ABC ordered a sequel. When that one hit big with viewers too, ABC, of course, asked Spelling for another. Production was underway on movie number three when ABC executive Fred Silverman called Spelling and told him to scrap the movie, or rather to cut the two-hour project into two separate one-hour projects, because he wanted Fantasy Island to no longer be an occasional film but a regular weekly series instead.
Mr Roarke Had Some Sweet Wheels
In the early seasons of Fantasy Island, Mr. Roarke tooled around his mysterious tropical paradise in a sport utility vehicle that could handle the various terrain he’d encounter. That was a red 1976 Jeep CJ-7, but in later years, and for the rest of the run of Fantasy Island, Mr. Roarke upgraded to something a bit more flashy, imposing, and suited to his character: a long, red, thoroughly altered 1978 Plymouth Volaré station wagon.
Why Mr. Roarke decided to get a new, larger car wasn’t necessarily a sign that the character was making tons of money charging people an arm and a leg for a fantastical island experience but rather reflective of the business contracts of the actor who portrayed Mr. Roarke. A defunct brand since 1999, Plymouth once fell under the corporate umbrella of Chrysler, or DaimlerChrysler, and was primarily known in the 1970s and ’80s for its family-friendly fleet of station wagons and minivans. Chrysler’s spokesperson in that time period, which overlapped with the run of Fantasy Island was Mr. Roarke himself, actor Ricardo Montalbán. Both actor and character drove a car made by the same company.
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There Was A Minor Actor Revolt On The Set Of Fantasy Island
In 1983, Fantasy Island wrapped up its sixth season with “Love Island/The Sisters.” Of the two stories in that episode, the first involved a couple of wannabe ladies’ men whose fantasy is to inhabit a remote island filled with beautiful women. Every Fantasy Island fantasy has a twist, and the one here is that the island is set in prehistoric times. Robert Firth, a young actor with just a couple of credits at the time, was cast in a small role as “Caveman,” and he and a handful of other actors decamped to film the prehistoric island scenes in a section of Bronson Canyon, a wild and rocky section of Los Angeles’ Griffith Park that looks so suitably like a land before time that it’s a much-used filming location.
Along with all that traffic came signs of human life, namely broken glass and trash on the ground, which was a problem because the actors hired to play cave-people were expected to perform barefoot. “When I realized the potential fate of our collective feet,” Firth told Looper, he expressed his apprehension to the people in charge. “That seemed to trigger an avalanche of voices, which led to a stopping of filming,” he added. The wardrobe department was contacted, and they provided “some clunky suede prehistoric footwear.”
She’s Been Married And Has One Child
Schaal was married to Stephen M. Schwartz from 1977 to 1987, and they welcome one child, named Adam. Schaal’s life is pretty private, but she did reflect on life and big changes in a general sense in a 2015 interview with Latino Review. Asked about American Dad being around for ten years at that point, she said, “It’s been a great, wonderful experience In these ten years we’ve had so much life happen. We’ve had babies born and marriages and divorces and deaths and everything. You work together with people for a whole decade, a lot happens.”
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Villechaize Also Occasionally Played Oscar The Grouch On Sesame Street
For the most part on Sesame Street, the shaggy green Muppet stayed put inside his garbage can. However, in the late 1970s, the show had Oscar on the move in rare occasion, walking about with his two feet sticking out of the bottom of the trash can. Villechaize was the performer inside the can. There was even a six-episode special in 1978 when Sesame Street traveled to Hawaii.
Image: The Everett Collection
The Network Also Wanted To Replace Tattoo With An Attractive Girl
Fantasy Island began as two made-for-TV movies, in 1977 and 1978. Filming was underway on a third when the head of ABC, Fred Silverman, called Spelling and asked the film be cut in two halves. He wanted to turn the idea into the series. There was just one catch, coming from a lower-level network suit they wanted to give Tattoo the boot. “We’d like you to get rid of the little guy,” the exec said, according to Spelling’s memoir, Aaron Spelling: A Primetime Life. “We’d like to have an attractive, sexy girl for Mr. Rourke.” Despite his success with Charlie’s Angels, Spelling stuck with his man Villechaize.
Image: Sony Pictures Television
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In Ricardo’s Mind Fantasy Island Was Purgatory
The backstory of just what Fantasy Island truly is well, it’s never explained in the show. But the lead actor needed some backstory for his character. He had his own beliefs about Mr. Roarke that he carried with him to guide his performance. “He’s not the devil what is he? What is he?” Montalbán mused about his character in an interview late in his life. “Even though the audience didn’t realize what I was thinking I decided this man was an angel who still had a little sin of pride in him so he is in charge of purgatory, and he has his little cherub to help him.”
Image: The Everett Collection
Tattoo Was Replaced By Mr Belvedere In The Final Season
Late in the series, Villechaize grew demanding behind the scenes, asking for more money, and displayed improper behavior on the set. Though he is heavily associated with the show, the actor was kicked off Fantasy Island for the final year. Replacing him in the sidekick role was Christopher Hewett as “Lawrence.” Though it was a bit hard to recognize him without the mustache, Hewett was best known as Mr. Belvedere on the hit sitcom of the same name.
Image: The Everett Collection
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Fantasy Island Isn’t Any One Particular Place
As was the plot of most of its episodes, in which the protagonist would get more than they bargained for after the fantasy they paid a lot of money to make happen took a turn for the worse, Fantasy Island is literally too good to be true. The true location of Fantasy Island from Fantasy Island is right there in the name it’s a fantasy, meaning it isn’t quite as real as the show did a great job of making viewers believe. The series wasn’t shot on location, on some remote island in the Pacific Ocean, nor was it even shot in one place. Most of the show’s less exotic scenes were shot on a soundstage, specifically Stage 17 on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, California.
But that memorable opening sequence from Fantasy Island wasn’t filmed on some set in the Los Angeles area. Those scenes set the mood for the show and also explain it, depicting a plane arriving at Fantasy Island and Tattoo ringing a bell in a tower to alert Mr. Roarke and his co-workers. The waterfalls in the credits are real, and they’re on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i. The bell tower is adjacent to the famous Santa Anita horse racing track in Southern California.