A new international trailer for Blumhouse’s horror remake of Fantasy Island has given us a brief look at the character Michael Rooker will be playing in the film.
The pic is based on the popular TV series of the same name that ran for seven seasons from 1977 to 1984, in which various guests travel to live out their deepest fantasies on the titular tropical paradise run by the enigmatic and possibly immortal Mr. Rourke. Each scenario often provides exactly what the guest asked for but in a way not expected, usually leaving them learning something about themselves in the process. The remake is a not entirely dissimilar idea to The Banana Splits Movie, which also took a beloved property and updated it with a horror twist, and it turned out to be a surprisingly decent film.
Most of the new trailer’s content is similar to that already seen in the first one, but a few moments towards its end see Michael Rooker give a suitably cryptic warning that “the island ain’t what you think it is.” His character is yet to be named in any materials, but his familiarity to genre fans – having appeared in the likes of The Walking Dead, both Guardians of the Galaxy movies, Slither, Jumper, Mallrats, The Belko Experiment, and most notoriously, the eponymous role in the controversial Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer – most likely means his part will be more than a brief cameo.
What he actually means is suitably cryptic, and since the trailer makes it clear that the fantasies people will live out will not go the way they expected them to – as with the TV show – there will likely be something darker and more complex at work. Perhaps Rooker’s character was once a member of the staff at the resort who knows the secret of what’s truly going on? Or maybe he’s a former guest who managed to escape whatever grisly fate the island’s twisted machinations had in store for him, but found himself trapped?
He might even be the genuine Mr. Rourke, who resided over the island when its purpose was more benevolent, having since had his position usurped by forces beyond his control, going slightly mad in the process under the influence of the island itself that possesses some rudimentary form of intelligence that sees into the souls of its guests.
Whatever Rooker’s role in Fantasy Island turns out to be, it’s unlikely to just be to facilitate the reveal of the film’s concept of ‘people’s desires turning into nightmares,’ since this is Blumhouse and their movies can typically be relied upon to have greater substance than that. And besides, anything less would be, as Michael Peña’s Rourke says in the trailer, “painfully unimaginative.”