The original cast of TV series Gilligan’s Island.One of television’s most iconic programs, Gilligan’s Island, is to be turned into a big-budget feature film.
The series, which aired originally between 1964 and 1967, was a comedy about a group of castaways stranded on an uncharted desert island after their “three hour tour” on a yacht hit rough weather.
For almost five decades the series has been in perpetual repeat and the show’s characters – hapless Gilligan, the Skipper, billionaire couple Thurston and Lovey Howell, the Professor, film actress Ginger Grant and American girl-next-door Mary-Ann – have become cultural icons.
News of a big-screen reboot first surfaced in 2010. Assuming this latest rumoured version is ever produced by Warner Bros, it will function as a “star vessel” for actor Josh Gad, who starred in the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon.
Gad will co-write the film with writers Benji Samit and Dan Hernandez.
The project will be produced by Lloyd Schwartz and Ross Schwartz, the sons of the show’s creator Sherwood Schwartz, and Tracey Silvers and Cathy Silvers, the daughters of iconic US comedian Phil Silvers.
In addition to creating Gilligan’s Island, Sherwood Schwartz was behind another iconic comedy, The Brady Bunch.
Cathy Silvers, in a curious footnote, is best known to TV viewers for playing Jenny Piccolo in another iconic ’60s sitcom, Happy Days.
The original series is remembered for its catchy theme tune, which began: “Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip, that started from this tropic port, aboard this tiny ship …”
It is also remembered for its cast, who all became inextricably linked to the characters they played: Bob Denver as Gilligan, Alan Hale Jr as Skipper Jonas Grumby, Jim Backus and Natalie Schafer as Thurston and Lovey Howell, Russell Johnson as Professor Roy Hinkley, Tina Louise as Ginger Grant and Dawn Wells as Mary Ann Summers.
Of the original cast, only Johnson, Louise and Wells are still alive.
In addition to 98 television episodes, the series spawned a series of telemovies and spin-offs, including 1978’s Rescue from Gilligan’s Island, 1979’s The Castaways on Gilligan’s Island and 1981’s The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island.
Two animated series, The New Adventures of Gilligan and Gilligan’s Planet, were produced in the 1970s and 1980s.
In the early 1990s, Lloyd Schwartz was behind Gilligan’s Island: The Musical, which toured in the US for several years.
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