Beyonce As Ginger "The Movie Star"? How About Meat Loaf As The Skipper, John Mayer As Gilligan...
Photo illustration by John Seaborn Gray
Good news, everyone! Hollywood has heard your desperate pleas: Warner Bros. is producing an updated movie remake of Gilligan's Island. Thank God! This should go over even better than Land of the Lost did! All kidding aside, this might actually be good news, since if the movie version of Gilligan's Island makes Rocks Off laugh even once, it will automatically be leagues better than the profoundly moronic TV show upon which it is based. The show's creator, crap magnate Sherwood Schwartz (The Brady Bunch), has recently gone on record saying he'd like Beyonce to play the role of Ginger, the glamorous Hollywood starlet among the seven castaways. Well, we can certainly imagine worse things than watching a dolled-up Beyonce for a couple of hours (it's what got us through the terrible third Austin Powers film), and the possibility of seeing B cast as Ginger got us to thinking: who else in the world of music should play the rest of the Gilligan's Island cast? Who else indeed... Mary Ann Summers (Perky country sex kitten):Tift Merritt
Not only does she have real-life Southern belle cred (she's from Raleigh, N.C.), but Tift also has the two major things necessary for Mary Ann: a sweet-natured, playful smile and a body that would squeeze perfectly into some Daisy Dukes and a tied-off gingham shirt. We doubt she'd do it, but look at her up there. It'd be great, wouldn't it? Plus she's a terrific little country singer, as well, so the movie would be guaranteed to have at least one song on the soundtrack that wouldn't suck. Hell, maybe we can get her to put together a shit-kickin' rockabilly version of the theme song. Understudy: Neko Case. A little too skinny and cosmopolitan, but still a great choice. Captain Jonas "The Skipper" Grumby (Perpetually flustered asshole): Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf's melodramatic stage presence has always allowed him to fit right into colorful, eccentric big-screen roles like Eddie in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and, of course, "Bitch-Tits" Bob in Fight Club. While most rock stars shoot for a certain sense of cool, Meat Loaf has always gone the other way, delving into all-the-way-to-the-back-row histrionics worthy of the hammiest Vaudevillian. We can't really imagine any other rock star selling one of the Skipper's trademark apoplectic fits quite as believably as the Loaf. Understudy: ...Except for maybe Damian Abraham from Fucked Up. Roy "The Professor" Hinkley (Bamboo engineer/coconut scientist): Bad Religion's Greg Graffin
If you listen to Bad Religion or have seen them in interviews, you know Graffin is smart as hell. What you may not know, and what gives him a leg-up on this role, is that he actually is a professor. Possessing a Ph. D in Zoology from Cornell University, he teaches a pair of science classes at UCLA and is currently developing a television show called... wait for it... "Punk Professor." On the TV show, Professor Hinkley was a fairly affable character, but we imagine Professor Graffin as more of a no-nonsense scientist, frequently cursing Gilligan for screwing up his escape plans and spontaneously exploding into anti-superstition rants when confronted by island natives and whatever vaguely racist monkey god the script will have them worshipping. He should be the only one who makes it off the island. Understudy: The Descendents' Milo Aukerman, who holds a Ph. D in biochemistry. Thurston "The Millionaire" Howell III (Effete rich doofus): Paul McCartney
Can you imagine anyone else in rock and roll who may actually pack several months' worth of clothing for a three-hour tour? Macca should be pretty used to schlepping along tons of unnecessary shit from gig to gig, especially after he wrote all those songs featuring the ukulele. Unlike John and George, Paul was never seen as part of the brainy contingent within the Beatles, instead coming across as more of a likable goof-off, which Thurston Howell was several times over. If anyone should be an expert at keeping a sunny, poncey demeanor on a deserted island, it's Paul. We just hope he's able to stay vegan. Understudy: Professional merch whore Gene Simmons. Eunice "Lovey" Wentworth Howell (Mrs. Thurston Howell): Joan Jett
Lovey wasn't much to look at the first time around, and this is our chance to change that. Joan is still fantastically sexy at age 52, and will not look at all out of place next to Ginger and Mary Ann when Bikini Time inevitably rolls around. Also, we see this as a great opportunity to add real spirit to a character who just wasn't very interesting; Lovey's main defining characteristic was that she was married to Thurston. With Jett inhabiting the role, we see some much more interesting plot developments coming her way, not the least of which would be palpable sexual tension between her and the Professor. Understudy: Tori Amos. Similar cougar-type deal, but with fewer power chords and more talk of dragons and clouds. The Radio Announcer (The Island's sole news source): Tom Waits
On most episodes of Gilligan's Island, the castaways were able to receive news updates via the Professor's conch-shell radio, and the voice making the announcements was always the same. It was a quick and dirty way to introduce plot points to the main cast, often warning them of such impending dangers as tidal waves, typhoons and swarms of Harlem Globetrotters. We'd like Tom Waits to do it because it would add an air of quirky creepiness to the proceedings as he read off threatening and cryptic news items phrased like doomsaying prose poems. We could listen to Tom Waits ramble on for days. Understudy: Nick Cave, for pretty much all the same reasons. Gilligan (First mate/mentally disabled saboteur): John Mayer
Of late, Mr. Mayer has been bumbling all over his career like Gilligan near one of the Professor's straw-and-thatch escape biplanes, chipping the varnish here, snapping off a flap there until the whole thing verges on collapse. He managed to offend ex-girlfriend Jessica Simpson and large sections of the black community in one interview, referring to the former as "sexual napalm" and, on the latter count, testing the waters to see if playing the blues and guesting on Chappelle's Show gives you a pass to drop an N-bomb. (Nope!) But more importantly, like Gilligan, Mayer's heart seems to be in the right place; he never really intends to err so grievously, it just seems to happen that way for him. The character of Gilligan essentially boiled down to a good-humored, well-meaning goober too careless and unlucky to quit fucking everything up for himself and everyone else. It's the role Johnny was born to play! Understudy: Pete Doherty could probably pull it off. Just do what his handlers do: load him full of pills and turn him loose. Based on more recent television successes... We may also want to add a smoke monster. Just spitballing here.
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