Of the premieres that were scheduled for this 2020, one of the most anticipated was The “fantasy island” starring Michael Peña. And not only because it adapts one of the series most iconic of the decade of the ‘70’s, but also for their proposal.
Before getting to that point, let’s recap a little. In “The fantasy island (1977-1984), the original show, many people visited this beautiful resort in the Pacific Ocean which was run by the enigmatic Mr. Roarke (Ricardo Montalban) with his assistant Tattoo (Hervé Villechaize). That’s where you could make real any dream you have.
The program mixed a little bit of the adventure, the comedy and the fantastic genre, unlike the film directed by Jeff Wadlow. In this film, Mr. Roarke also makes the dreams of the fortunate guests who come to your luxurious tropical resort. The case is that those fantasies become nightmares, and the guests will solve the mystery that hides the island in order to escape with life. Yes, it’s a horror movie. Hence what is interesting about this twist.
“The island of fantasy ‘ is not the first film that adapts the source material to your liking and craving to offer a new product. In 2017 came to the screen of the cinemas the horrifying “Chips: Patrol Motorized Reloaded”, with Dax Shepard, and, once again, Michael Peña (available in Google Play).
Lost in space.
The idea was to make a comedy -which is filled with jokes that are vulgar and unintelligent – mixed with a bit of action. The result was something totally mediocre, which rapidly fell into oblivion. This film, yes that was an insult, considering that he adapted the series police the same name in 1977, with the unmatched agents of police-motorized Jon Baker (Larry Wilcox) and Francis Poncherello (Erik Estrada).
The same problem had another adaptation of the same year, “Baywatch: Baywatch” (Baywatch, 2017; available on Netflix), starring Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron and Alexandra Daddario.
The lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Johnson) had to deal with a new recruit (Efron) and while both were their big egos, they discovered a plot that put at stake the future of the bay. The series in which he worked David Hasselhoff was a mix between action, drama and adventure, very far from what it offered the feature film.
Clear that not all were bad experiences. From 1976 to 1981, issued “Charlie’s Angels” (Charlie’s Angels), other show the police in which a trio of beautiful women working for a detective agency, solving cases. In the year 2000 was an adaptation with Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu pulled him the solemnity that had the series and we added a touch of comedy that gave him a lot of freshness to the proposal. Three years later came the sequel “Charlie’s Angels: full throttle” (Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, 2003, available on Google Play), which was not so much acceptance as the first.
Another adaptation that also knew how to make a action-comedy was “Special Command” (21 Jump Street, 2012, available on Apple Tv), with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. Good movie that had a second part more than acceptable: “Special Command 2” (2014, Apple Tv).
The original series, the one that led to Johnny Depp to stardom, was a police pure. Police officers undercover investigating crimes committed by young people.
A rare case is what they did with the excellent BBC documentary “Walking with Dinosaurs” (1999, issued by the Meeting), which tells the story of the beings that lived on the planet Earth 65 million years ago. In 2013 came “Walking with Dinosaurs” (2013, available on YouTube), an animated film telling the story of a dinosaur Patch and his family. That is to have imagination.
The police sergeant Joe Friday, and his companions were in charge of investigating the criminal world of the city of Los Angeles in “Dragnet” (1951-1959), a tremendous number of police that came from a radio program and that he had two adaptations to the big screen. But, in 1987, came the comedy -call, of course, “Dragnet” -starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks.
Aykroyd was the nephew of Joe Friday, but his character was very similar to that immortalized by Jack Webb on the screen. Professor John Robinson decides to leave Earth and move with his family to a habitable planet of the Alpha Centauri system. It is as well that embark on a space trip in the spaceship Jupiter 2 driven by commander Donald West, the best friend of Robinson. But someone sabotages the trip, which will cause the ship to be diverted and fall into a place unknown.
That is what was the family comedy “Lost in Space” (1965-1968), with Guy Williams, June Lockhart and Jonathan Harris in the main roles.
In 1998 came the adaptation with William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, Matt LeBlanc, Heather Graham and Gary Oldman (available in Google Play).
The plot of the film was the same as that of the program, only with a tone more somber and serious. Failed miserably.
It can be said that “Brigadier” (2010) not much has changed the genre of action who had the series of 1983. In fact, in the movie of Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper used so much artillery as the one that was used in the show. The problem with this movie is that it betrayed something essential for the program that became world famous Mr.T: they murdered people. Throughout the five seasons that lasted “Brigadier” on the air, they never killed anyone and, in 97 episodes, only one person dies on screen explicitly. For something was the series favorite of every kid who grew up in the ‘80s. The film put action, shootings, bombs and deaths and that was what sunk it.
One of the best detective series of all time was the one that presented itself to the detectives Dave Starsky (Paul Michael Glaser) and Ken “Hutch” Hutchinson (David Soul), with its unforgettable Ford Gran Torino red with white strip. Yes, we talk about the mythical “Starsky and Hutch” (1975-1979), a show that made history in the television world.
In 2004, the filmmaker Todd Phillips took this hot iron and headed to Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in the adaptation, which was a comedy-tinged action. The result was very good and passed with a vengeance.
Finally, in 2012, Tim Burton was dispatched with the comedy “Shadow Dark” (“Dark Shadows”, on YouTube and Google Play), which had in its cast actors like Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Helena Bonham Carter and Chloë Grace Moretz.
The plot revolved around Barnabas Collins (Depp), a vampire that was released from where it had been buried alive and was returning to his ancestral home, on where he was with his dysfunctional descendants, who had to protect.
The original source was the cult series in 1966 with Jonathan Frid (Barnabas Collins), which had vampires, witches, werewolves and ghosts, among other fantastic beings of the popular mythology. The program mixed the fantasy with the horror, and it was a great success. Not like the movie of the good of Tim.
As you can see, it is very difficult to change something that refers to the past and making it work. Nostalgia is a very powerful element and there is that knowing how to play with something that is well kept in the trunk of good memories.