Thirty-seven years after the original “Fantasy Island” ended its run, a modern update is heading to the small screen.
Airing from 1977 through 1984, the series featured an island run by the mysterious Mr. Roarke (Ricardo Montalban), a man who fulfilled the wishes and dreams of his guests, even if they rarely turned out as desired. The show was a pop culture hit and coined one of the era’s most memorable catchphrases — “da plane! da plane!” — delivered by Hervé Villechaize’s character Tattoo.
Now, Roselyn Sánchez runs the island, playing a descendent of Mr. Roarke. The actress tells ET Canada she was familiar with the original series, thanks to Villechaize’s signature catchphrase.
RELATED: Live Out Your Ultimate Dream Vacation With Global’s ‘Fantasy Island’ Getaway Contest
“I was young — it was the ’70s — but I was familiar with ‘De avion! De avion!’, which is “The plane! The plane!” she tells Keshia Chante.
Getting an update also meant a quasi-gender flip of the main character.
“It was all about finding ways to keep the legacy alive. Because she’s a ‘Rourke’, but also making it my own to feel like I’m doing something the same but different,” she adds.
Filming in Puerto Rico where Sánchez was born was also a big draw for the star. The actress brought her family along with her while filming, even landing her husband, “The Rookie” actor Eric Winter, a surprise part.
RELATED: Global Announces New And Returning Shows Including Global Original ‘Family Law’, ‘CSI: Vegas’ And ‘New Amsterdam’
“I remember going up to the showrunner and saying, ‘Guys, Eric is on hiatus from his show and he’s gonna be here for five weeks so if there’s anything…’ I just said it as a joke, didn’t think it would be possible but funny enough they were like, ‘There’s actually a part, see if he wants to do it,'” she explains. Winter took on the guest role, making their family time in Puerto Rico even more special.
“We are gonna embrace this time working together because it means the kids are with us — that we’re together. For the most part, we have to be apart because that’s the nature of this business,” she says, adding with a laugh, “The dream is, after ‘Fantasy Island’ runs for seven seasons and ‘The Rookie’ runs for seven seasons, we’re gonna do a sitcom together.”
“Fantasy Island” premieres on Global on Tuesday, August 10, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.