'Fantasy Island': Will the reboot be different from OG series? Expect a few interesting twists

With Roselyn Sanchez as Elena Roarke, the reboot comes with a few interesting changes, while drawing inspiration from the original series

                            'Fantasy Island': Will the reboot be different from OG series? Expect a few interesting twists
Bellamy Young and Roselyn Sánchez, as seen in 'Fantasy Island' (Laura Magruder/FOX)

For the fans of the original 'Fantasy Island' that aired from 1977 to 1984, the series had a sense of mystery and intrigue. Although there have been a few remakes and reboots before, get ready for an all-new 'Fantasy Island'. The newest Fox series borrows elements from the beloved original while adding a spin of its own.

Featuring Roselyn Sánchez as Elena Roarke, the island's mysterious and charismatic stewardess, here's how the new series compares to the old one! If you're looking for more drama titles, you can check out 'Roswell, New Mexico', 'The End', 'The Outpost' and 'The Flight Attendant'. 


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The most obvious change is probably that Roarke is now played by a woman, instead of the original, which featured Ricardo Montalbán and the 1998 reboot, which featured Malcolm McDowell. Unfortunately, the latter didn't enjoy the same success as the former, seeing that it only ran for one season. There was even a 2020 horror film adaptation based on the series, with Michael Anthony Peña taking on the role of Mr Roarke. However, the movie received largely negative reviews.

Although Sánchez is seen wearing the iconic white suit that is synonymous with the character of Mr Roarke, she plays Elena Roarke, the grandniece of Montalbán's Mr. Roarke, thus connecting the reboot to the original. 

In a conversation with the New York Times, Sánchez explained that the series stays true to the original, although it's a reboot. "The premise is very much the same. It's about wish fulfillment; it's about growing as a human being; it's about making dreams come true." she explained. "Guests come to the island — they have a desire, they have a dream, whatever it is — then the island helps them navigate through a journey that has magic and can fulfill them." she added.

It turns out, Sánchez isn't the only one bringing the girl power to the sets. The show itself has a largely talented female cast and crew. "The fact that the lead role is a female, that's a testament to how the showrunners wanted to do something that is a little more current. Directors, a lot of heads of departments, showrunners — they're all female, behind the camera and in front of the camera." she explained. 

Even the show's Instagram page features sneak peeks of how the women on the show have come together to make the magic happen. "They took some creative liberties that are going to elevate the material, especially the fact that you have minorities in charge as leads. It's keeping up with the current times." she added. 


Another notable change is that Mr Roarke sidekick, Tattoo, is being reprised in a different form. Sánchez opened up about this change in character while talking to The Wrap. "They decided to make this host female and very much Hispanic and let's give her a sidekick and let's give her a right hand that is not going to be what people expect. I was happy with it. I thought it was very clever. I think it's current and I think it's relevant in the way they did it." she explained, seeing that her right-hand man is Javier, the island's pilot, played by John Gabriel Rodriquez.  

"Now, I hope to God, because Tattoo was such a symbolic and beloved character, that I hope the audience, the new audience and the old audience, the people that enjoyed the original, will embrace it the same way that we are embracing it, because we actually think it's brilliant," she explained. 


Apart from the characters that run the island, the reboot also introduces fans to the guests. There is Mel and Ruby, played by David Moses and Stephanie Berry, an elderly couple hoping to relive their youth again and Christine, played by Bellamy Young, a woman who desires to live a life of indulgence, with no limit. These guests have their desires manifest right before them, but as with the rules of 'Fantasy Island', what you want might not always be what you need! 

With plenty of elements from the old series and a range of exciting twists, fans will have to wait and see if this reboot manages to invoke the excitement that came with the original. 

'Fantasy Island' premieres on Tuesday, August 10, 2021 at 9/8c on Fox.

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