I’ve tried writing this opening paragraph three different ways now, in an attempt to express just how utterly awful this idea is. I give up. You don’t need me to tell you how bad it is. You’ll know as soon as you hear it. Ready? Here it is: They’re making a movie out of Gilligan’s Island.
I liked Gilligan’s Island. It existed in a certain time and place when adults wanted to watch cartoons without the guilt of staring at immature animation. So they got this instead: a live action cartoon about a group of buffoons stranded on an island where something ridiculous happened every week. In a way I suppose Gilligan should get some of the credit for a lot of the island themed television we’ve been gifted with since. Would Survivor or Lost have existed without the dubiously laudable comedic stylings of Bob Denver? Maybe not.
That doesn’t mean it belongs on screen as a movie. This is a show that barely managed to scrape together enough credible material to regularly fill twenty minutes of network television on a weekly basis. It's an idea so thin, it didn't even work as a reality show. As a movie? Wasn’t The Beverly Hillbillies movie painful enough? Compared to Gilligan’s Island the Beverly Hillbillies was “Lord of the Flies”. Is there any chance modern audiences will buy into the notion of a coconut radio? I really doubt it.
But Variety says common sense has been thrown out the window in favor of investing in a project with instant name recognition. It’s in production at Warner Bros. where, more often than not they seem to know what they’re doing. I mean, we expect this sort of thing from the Weinstein Company or even Fox. WB usually knows what's up.
At least it’s good news for all you Gilligan’s Island purists out there, assuming you somehow exist. The show's original producer Sherwood Schwartz is on board in an executive producer role along with his son Lloyd. So Gilligan’s legacy of bad coconut gags is almost certainly safe. Brad Copeland, who was last seen ruining motorcycles by writing the script for Wild Hogs, will now ruin island adventure by writing the script for Gilligan. At least he can’t screw up the themesong. They’re sure to leave that as is, aren’t they?
Below is a taste of that old Gilligan’s Island magic, complete with theme song, in the very first ever episode. Now imagine this as a movie and keep in mind, the show got much, much stupider from here. Think Harlem Globetrotters.