Director Jeff Wadlow on the Challenges of Making ‘Fantasy Island’ for Just $7.2 Million

     February 21, 2020

Fantasy Island is currently trying to make its mark on the box office and in honor of the film’s recent release, director Jeff Wadlow swung by the Collider Studio to tell us a bit about his experience making the film.

Inspired by the iconic television series, Wadlow’s Fantasy Island focuses on a group of characters who head to the island and are promised the opportunity to live their dreams by Michael Peña‘s Mr. Roarke. Melanie (Lucy Hale) is looking to get back at a school bully, Gwen (Maggie Q) wants to explore a romantic path not taken and Patrick (Austin Stowell) wants to be a soldier while JD (Ryan Hansen) and his adopted brother Brax (Jimmy O. Yang) simply want to “have it all.” Their hopes and dreams seem fairly straightforward, but little do they know, wish fulfillment comes at a price and the island is going to hold them to it.

fantasy-island-blumhouse-posterCheck out the video interview at the top of this article to hear more about how Wadlow and his co-writers Jillian Jacobs and Chris Roach settled on those four fantasies for the film, what the casting process was like, how they ended up buying out a cruise ship during production, what it was like making such an ambitious feature on a $7.2 million production budget, and loads more. And if you’re looking for more Fantasy Island content after that, click here for our interview with the cast of the film and here to watch Hansen and Yan participate in an episode of our interview/magic show, “Hocus Focus.”

Jeff Wadlow:

  • 00:25 – Why the movie was perfect for a Valentine’s Day release; it’s not a body count horror movie.
  • 01:00 – What came first, Wadlow’s idea for the film or knowing the adaptation rights were within reach?
  • 01:38 – Did Wadlow ever consider introducing the characters before they got to the island?
  • 02:40 – Fantasy Island is a big genre mash-up; what’s his personal favorite kind of horror movie?
  • 03:24 – Why four fantasies in this movie?
  • 04:14 – What were the challenges of making this movie on a $7.2 million production budget?
  • 05:04 – What was it like living on a cruise ship during production?
  • 06:45 – Which character did Wadlow cast first and how did the ensemble come together after that?
  • 08:25 – Did Wadlow find it challenging to jump from sub-genre to sub-genre as an actor’s director?
  • 09:21 – What does Wadlow think is the value of rebooting a priority?

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