Gilligan’s Island: Bob Denver’s Widow on the New Movie

Bob DenverA feature film based on the classic sitcom Gilligan’s Island has been in the works for many years. It seems that it’s closer than ever to being made this time around.

In January 2009, TV show creator Sherwood Schwartz announced that a new deal had just been signed with a studio. Last March, it was reported that Warner Bros. and Atlas Entertainment were prepping the Gilligan’s Island feature.

Brian Copeland (Yogi Bear) will write the script and Schwartz will executive produce. Production’s expected to get underway in 2011. No word if original series survivors Tina Louise, Russell Johnson, and Dawn Wells will be offered roles.

Schwarz has said that he’d like to see Michael Cera play Gilligan. No matter who dons the iconic sailor’s cap, he’ll make a lot more than the original, Bob Denver.

Dreama Denver, Bob’s widow, told the Village Voice, “Although in my heart no one can replace Bob as Gilligan, it’ll be interesting to see how the movie turns out.”

She continued, “One thing is certain; whoever the new Gilligan is, he’ll make a whole lot more money for doing that one movie than Bob or the other castaways ever did in their lifetimes.”

“[Neither] Bob nor the rest of the castaways ever received royalties for syndication, video or DVD sales, websites, video games. None of that was even imagined when they shot the TV show.”

Dreama Denver heads The Denver Foundation, a nonprofit foundation that seeks to enrich the lives of disabled and disadvantaged individuals in West Virginia.

What do you think? Considering how many millions of dollars the studio has made from the Gilligan’s Island series, should they have better rewarded the original cast?

Canceled and renewed TV show

9 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Michael says

    Rather than making “Gilligan’s Island” into a feature film, why not film it as a Warner Premiere presentation- it would take a great deal of aggravation out of making it into a feature film. Keep the story line the same, and no, you don’t replace the original cast, you remember what the originals brought and contributed to the show and succeed them with the talent that you have available. Now, if “Gilligan’s Island” movie premiered as a Warner Premiere presentation, rather than as a feature film, I have this cast in mind:

    Gary Lundy(from “Senior Skip Day”) as Gilligan
    Eric Allan Kramer(from “Good Luck Charlie”) as Skipper, Capt. Jonas Grumby
    Kelsey Grammer(from “The Simpsons”,”Frasier” & “Cheers) as Thurston Howell III
    Jane Lynch(from “Glee” and Warner Bros. “Another Cinderella Story”) as Lovey Howell
    Ashely Tisdale(Warner Bros. and Disney performer) as Ginger
    Thomas Gibson(from “Dharma & Greg”) as Prof. Roy Hinckley
    Jennifer Garner(from “Alias”) as Mary Ann

    Also, keep both Lloyd and Elroy Schwartz involved with “Gilligan”- it would be an appropriate gesture to creator, Sherwood Schwartz. It really wouldn’t hurt to film a “Gilligan’s Island” movie as a Warner Premiere presentation and to see how it does in DVD sales and rentals, before eventually putting it on TV, on either TBS or ABC Family.

  2. Neil says

    It never works, to remake TV series. The Brady Bunch was tragic. Forget it.
    Yes, the cast have been very unfortunate and fortunate at the same time for their success with the series. Money can still be generated intelligently after their careers if one is smart ( ie Alan Hale’s Lobster Barrel restaurant). I don’t know what they have been doing over the years but they could have made a hell of a lot of dough if they had of had reunions and guest fee appearances i would have thought, along with writing books, DVD’s of their own etc etc. I can’t believe how little has been available in the form of books, DVD’S etc since 1967.
    On the subject of Tina Louise – she will be regarded and known as Ginger on Gilligans Island, period. Most struggling current actors (and past) would cut off a leg to be in a TV series or a movie that was as huge as Gilligans island – then when those very few actually get success, they often don’t like it! It’s a strange business, one that i am gladly not involved with. Be grateful for what you have – you are much happier and less miserable this way.

  3. Fellow class mate says

    I feel like I would like to place here the fact that Bob Denver graduated from David Starr Jordan High School in Long Beach, California June 1953. He was a quiet kind of guy. Was big into water sports, and R.O.T. C. We would have never dreamed about the success he made in television and films, especially in comedy!

  4. TJ says

    Let’s face it the studio totally got away with murder in how much(or should I say how little) they paid the actors of Gilligan’s Island. Not to mention they didn’t get paid for re-runs for decades. Tina Louise may not like it but she will be known forever as Ginger and should be thankful for the millions of fans that adore her for that role. Paul your Debra Messing as Ginger is a Fantastic idea! She totally has the look and she has better comedic timing that Tina Louise ever had! I like a number of people as Gilligan back in the day I thought John Goodman would be a great Skipper. I like Pierce Brosnan as the Professor and what about Dawn Wells as Maryanne.

  5. Paul says

    Every time I see this actress, I think TINA LOUISE ! ! !
    She’s a dead ringer for Ms Louise back in the Gilligan’s Island era, so I think having her in the new movie would be amazing. Her gorgeous looks and comedic qualities would make her a Ginger that anyone now could relate to.
    I’m keeping my fingers crossed for DEBRA MESSING… :-)

  6. Jo Ann says

    I was a fan of the show when it originally aired and I continued to watch the episodes watch the reruns for many years thereafter. I know every episode so well that I can keep up with some of the lines! When I read that a new movie was in the works, I was delighted, but I must say that I can’t imagine Michael Cera playing Gilligan. I truly feel that, though a good script is important for the success of the movie, casting actors that resemble the original actors as closely as possible, will make or break the movie. When I watch this movie, I want to be taken back to the Gilligan that I knew and loved. I want to be taken back to the Skipper that I knew and loved, and so on. I have my own list of ideal actors. I would rather see Zach Braff as Gilligan. I think that Simon Baker would be great as the Professor. I would really like Michael Caine as Mr. Howell and Christina Hendricks would really capture “Ginger”. I have a few others in mind as well, however, it might be even wiser to choose actors that are not well known yet.

    • WontGetLost says

      Excellent. I too think they should be exact look-alikes and not be some famous actor.
      While watching it, I would need to believe. It should take us back to the 60’s for sure. If it’s a present day version, I just don’t think it would feel right.

  7. says

    As a personal friend and Los Angeles media consultant for Tina Louise, I agree with the majority of SAG AFTRA members that the original cast should have been better rewarded, especially with the huge amounts of funds generated yearly for the syndication and product licensing rights. One wonders who shares in all that money, and why hasn’t the producer attempted to share the wealth, even though he doesn’t have to? Tina Louise does not regard Gilligans Island as the hallmark of her career-and rightly so. She had already been the star of many stage and motion pictures with Hollywood’s leading actors before and after the 1960’s series was canceled. I don’t blame her for ignoring reunions over the years, especially the TV Movie reunion specials. For Tina to be interested in appearing in the film in a cameo?? I don’t see it happening. Unless of course they give her an offer she couldn’t refuse. Don’t hold your breath.

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