As we saw very recently with Fantasy Island, taking a beloved family-friendly series and reinventing it as the basis for an R-rated and horror-tinged genre film can often deliver terrible results. However, that doesn’t make the prospect of a potential Gilligan’s Island reboot hailing from James Gunn and Charlie Kaufman any less fascinating.
As incredible as it is to hear, the former Troma protégé and writer/director of Slither and Super wanted to team up with the singular and idiosyncratic mind behind Being John Malkovich and Adaptation to turn the CBS classic on its head and then some. As he detailed on Twitter, Warner Bros. was even on board with the pitch, but he was shot down twice, which you can read below.
“A true story: In the late 90’s screenwriting GOAT Charlie Kaufman pitched a movie version of Gilligan’s Island where the islanders, starving & desperate, started killing & eating each other. Warner Bros wanted to do it – but Sherwood Schwartz, the creator, said no way. After Guardians ,I tried to resurrect the idea & wanted to direct. It seemed Warners & Charlie were interested but, this time, the estate of the late Sherwood Schwartz nixed it. Anyway, if the Schwartz estate changes their mind, I’m here.”
The notion of James Gunn using his newfound clout from helming Marvel Studios smash hit Guardians of the Galaxy to try and leverage his cannibalistic, violent reboot of Gilligan’s Island for a second time makes the story all the more bizarre, but maybe one day he’ll finally get around to it.
Gilligan’s Island was wholesome family viewing, but an R-rated spin hailing from the minds of Gunn and Kaufman would have perhaps guaranteed one of the strangest, most unusual and unsettling movies we would have ever seen.