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James Gunn & Charlie Kaufman pitched a dark & gritty 'Gilligan’s Island' movie featuring... cannibalism?

By James Comtois
Gilligan's Island Cast

In the latest news centered on gonzo film projects that never got off the ground, apparently the director of Guardians of the Galaxy and writer of Being John Malkovich tried to make a grim and gritty version of Gilligan’s Island. Seriously. 

Director James Gunn recently revealed in a tweet that in the late '90s, he and scribe Charlie Kaufman tried to get “a movie version of Gilligan’s Island" made. But in their version of the classic 1960s CBS show, rather than living in the lap of tropical luxury thanks to the Professor's creations, "the islanders, starving & desperate," would start "killing & eating each other.” 

Not surprisingly, this project never got off the ground. What is surprising, however, is that according to Gunn, it wasn’t Warner Bros. that was hesitant, but rather the show’s creator, Sherwood Schwartz, who “said no way.” Guess Schwartz wasn’t too keen on turning his show into a three-hour tour of cannibalism and depravity. 


Gunn explained in a follow-up tweet that even after the idea was nixed, he wasn’t ready to let his Gilligan by way of Ravenous and Stephen King’s “Survivor Type” idea go.

“After Guardians I tried to resurrect the idea & wanted to direct,” he wrote. “It seemed Warners & Charlie were interested but, this time, the estate of the late Sherwood Schwartz nixed it.” Curses. Foiled again!

“Anyway, if the Schwartz estate changes their mind, I’m here,” Gunn concluded. 


Look. We know that insane movie projects are dreamt of but ultimately discarded all the time. But the more we think about it, the more we really want this one to happen. So, what say you, Schwartz estate? It's a little unorthodox, but it's not like there's no precedent for this. After all, there’s a horror version of Fantasy Island out there. So, what’s the harm in getting a little ... dark with this IP? Plus, it would be written by an Oscar-winning screenwriter, so there'd be some prestige to it!

And oh, yeah. We’re still waiting for that R-rated Star Trek film from Quentin Tarantino, Hollywood. We haven't forgotten.