Dave Bautista is the latest actor in talks for Blumhouse's Fantasy Island, which is assembling a strong cast. Blumhouse has been wildly successful taking smaller IPs from the past and reinventing them in different (largely horror-centric) ways. They do so with minimal budgets that allow their films to be profitable after just the first weekend. The Paranormal Activity and Purge franchises are prime examples of this success, while recent outings like Split, Get Out, and Happy Death Day show the potential for major box office success.
One of Blumhouse's upcoming ventures will be a remake of ABC's 1970s TV series titled Fantasy Island. They recently named Jeff Wadlow as the writer and director. Wadlow last directed Truth or Dare for Blumhouse, a movie that - despite poor critical reviews - made $94 million worldwide on a $3.5M budget.
THR has been sharing the first casting additions for Fantasy Island over the last few days and the total now stands at three. Ant-Man and The Wasp's Michael Pena was the first to join as the reboot's version of the island's host Mister Roarke, previously played by Ricardo Montalban. Crazy Rich Asians star Jimmy O. Yang then joined as a guest named Brax. The newest addition, Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista, will play a former guest who has been trapped on the island against his will.
The premise of Fantasy Island revolves around guests visiting the island to live their wish-fulfilling fantasies. However, in Blumhouse's traditional way, they are putting a horror spin on the idea as these fantasies won't go as they intend. Pena will be the one to warn his guests about such a possibility, but Yang's Brax won't understand this at first. He travels to the island with his older adoptive brother, but when Brax gets what he wants, he'll realize that others will want to take that away from him. Bautista will be the one who wants to expose Roarke and his twisted island, which could turn him and Yang into unlikely allies in the film.
With casting still early on, it is safe to say that Fantasy Island is shaping up rather nicely. The collection of Pena, Yang, and Bautista should pull in a decent amount of interest by their names alone and the highly successful films they've previously been in. As long as Blumhouse can deliver on the nightmarish fun that can be had, Fantasy Island could be the latest in their long line of hits. Since Brax won't be the only guest on the island, expect more casting news on the film to come shortly as it gears up for production.
Fantasy Island is currently in pre-production but does not have a release date.