It’s a safe bet that Charlie Kaufman has one of the bleakest minds to ever infiltrate Hollywood. But the screenwriter, director, and novelist — last year’s 700-paged Antkind is even more bonkers than you think — has somehow never sold out. That’s to say, he’s never sullied himself with comic book fare or IP reboots. Then again, we never got to see his Gilligan’s Island.
This comes from James Gunn, fellow Hollywood weirdo, albeit one who’s more of the Troma gore variety. The Marvel/DC guy claims that in the late ‘90s, around the time Kaufman had his first screenwriting hit with Being John Malkovich, he pitched his own deranged take on the ‘60s classic about shipwrecked survivors forever stranded after a three-hour tour gone awry.
After Guardians I tried to resurrect the idea & wanted to direct. It seemed Warners & Charlie were interested but, this time, the estate of the late Sherwood Schwartz nixed it. Anyway, if the Schwartz estate changes their mind, I’m here.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) October 13, 2021
Kaufman’s Gilligan’s Island was, of course, far from faithful to the source. Gunn says his version found the islanders “starving & desperate.” Instead of making radios out of coconuts, they “started killing & eating each other.” Improbably, Warner Bros. was into it. Alas, Sherwood Schwartz, the show’s creator (and also the brains behind The Brady Bunch), was not.
The years passed, and Gunn, having had his own monster hit with the first Guardians of the Galaxy, tried to revive Kaufman’s Gilligan’s Island. This time, Gunn claims, the estate of the now-late Schwartz wasn’t having it either. “Anyway,” Gunn said, “if the Schwartz estate changes their mind, I’m here.”
Let’s not mince words: The estate of the late creator of The Brady Bunch should let James Gunn help Charlie Kaufman realize his dream of a Gilligan’s Island in which (presumably) Gilligan and the Skipper fight over the remains of the Professor, only to both be eaten by wholesome farm girl Mary Ann. It’s the dark reboot humanity deserves after the last several trying years.
(Via James Gunn on Twitter)