The Bold and the Beautiful star Kiara Barnes has been cast as a series regular and John Gabriel Rodriquez (If Loving You Is Wrong) as heavily recurring in Fantasy Island, Fox’s contemporary version of the classic drama series that has a straight-to-series order to air this summer. The project hails from writer-producers Liz Craft and Sarah Fain as well as Sony Pictures TV and its Gemstone Studios label, which co-produce with Fox Entertainment.
Actress-singer Barnes has been tapped for Fantasy Island as she is finishing her last year on CBS’ long-running daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful, Deadline has learned. Barnes, who has played Zoe Buckingham since 2018, will be wrapping production on the soap soon.
The reboot is keeping the semi-anthological format of the original Fantasy Island with three main characters, two played by Barnes and Rodriquez, who live/work on the island and new guests arriving in every episode.
The original series, created by Gene Levitt and executive produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg, starred Ricardo Montalbán as the mysterious Mr. Roarke and Hervé Villechaize as his assistant Tattoo as they grant guests so-called “fantasies” on the island for a price.
The new Fantasy Island will be run by Elena Roarke, a direct descendant of Mr. Roarke.
Barnes will play the warm and wise Ruby Okoro, a young woman with an old soul. She arrives on Fantasy Island with a terminal illness, but Roarke and the island give her a new lease on life.
Rodriquez will play the rugged, handsome and charismatic Javier, Fantasy Island’s head of transport — a pilot, mechanic and jack of all trades. While the island provides Javier refuge, as with everything else it offers, it may come at the price of a reckoning.
There is no direct version of the Tattoo character in the reboot.
The Fantasy Island reimagining, written and executive produced by Craft and Fain, delves into the “what if” questions that keep us awake at night. Each episode will tell emotional, provocative stories about people who walk in with a desire but end up reborn to themselves through the magical realism of Fantasy Island.
Barnes recently starred in the Lifetime original movie The Wrong Wedding. She also stars on the UMC show Stuck With You, which is headed into Season 2. She is repped by Zero Gravity Management, Aperture Talent Agency and attorney Melanie Frank.
Rodriquez, who has done guest starring/recurring stints on NCIS, Young and Hungry, The Fosters and Rosewood and was a series regular in the NBC pilot Miranda’s Rights, is repped by Haven Entertainment.
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