James Gunn & Charlie Kaufman Once Wanted To Make A Cannibalistic ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Remake

The What If? lore of cinema is long, storied, and legendary, Jodorowsky in vain trying to make “Dune” in the 1970s, Stanley Kubrick trying to make his “Napoleon” epic and hell, we did a feature on this ages ago called, The 25 Greatest Movies Never Made. But maybe we have a new addition to add to the pile, a remake/reboot of “Gilligan’s Island” that never got made that sounds bonkers.

So, this all started with the “Pitch a movie with two pictures, no caption” meme that hit Twitter the other day. James Gunn pitched an image of “Gilligan’s Island” and a photo of ancient cannibal rituals. Sure, and? Well, it turns out, that was once actually a thing. Gunn explained his replies. During the 1990s, he and writer Charlie Kaufman, before he became the regarded writer of “Eternal Sunshine Of the Spotless Mind” and “Adaptation” and before he went on to direct surreal films like “I’m Thinking Of Ending Things,” came up with a pitch for a cannibalistic reboot of “Gilligan’s Island.”

READ MORE: The Essentials: The Surreal Films Of Charlie Kaufman

“Charlie Kaufman pitched a movie version of ‘Gilligan’s Island’ where the islanders, starving & desperate, started killing & eating each other,” Gunn wrote. “Warner Bros wanted to do it – but Sherwood Schwartz, the creator, said no way.”

Gunn then went on to say that after making “Guardians Of The Galaxy” for Marvel and gaining some clout in the film industry finally, he wanted to revisit the project, retouched base with Warner Bros, who were game, but the estate of the late Sherwood Schwartz nixed it once more.

Frankly, I’m not sure why they didn’t go ahead with it and call it something different, ditch the I.P. and just come up with a similar concept about disparate strangers trapped on an island that turned to cannibalism to survive; it’s a brilliant concept that still works on its own. Sadly, everything is so brand and I.P.-driven in Hollywood; that’s probably the only way something like this would ever get greenlight.

Gunn, in the meantime, has “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3.” shooting soon, the DC/HBO Max, “Peacemaker” series debuting in early 2022 and apparently has yet another DC/WB project in development over at the studio, but has not yet revealed what it is. If anything, the big question for Gunn right now isn’t will “Gilligan’s Island” ever get made (probably not), but whether he’ll trade Marvel for D.C. and Warner and stay within the world of superheroes and antiheroes for another decade-plus.