CBS via Everett Collection/Getty
Gilligan’s Island purists (there’s a purist for everything) are probably hollering over the news of Gad at the center of this production. “The Book of Mormon kid as Gilligan? That’s conflicts with my purism!” But as of yet, we’re not entirely sure who Gad is set to play. The assumption: Gilligan. The official word: TBA. So, really, there are seven possible ways this movie can go…
Josh Gad as Gilligan
The most straightforward adaptation of the sitcom, with Gad playing the bumbling title character who consistently thwarts his friends’ attempts at escaping the confines of their desert island prison. Sight gags, goofy repartee, wacky laughs, and a simplistic message about believing in yourself and the people you love. Maybe Gad’s Gilligan has a romantic flight with hometown gal Mary Ann? That’d sell. We mean, foster artistic merit. Directed by Shawn Levy.
The Skipper… Kevin James
The Millionaire… Jason Bateman
His Wife… Allison Janney
The Movie Star… Sofia Vergara
The Professor… Jon Hamm (in glasses!)
Mary Ann… Ellie Kemper
Josh Gad as The Skipper
You know, for kids! If Gad takes on the role of the Skipper, a maritime man who has quite a few years on the rest of the characters, we might be seeing something in the vein of a Disney Channel vacation flick. Gad and his nephew “Gil” operate an ocean excursion for privileged youths and wind up on a crazy island adventure! Gad must wrangle these preteens (and teach them a few lessons about growing up) in this family-friendly 90-minute TV movie (with commercials). Rally the the small nation of people that wrote and directed the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movies.
Gilligan… Rico Rodriguez
The Millionaire… One of the Sprouse twins (maybe not the one with the naked pictures scandal, just to be safe)
His “Wife”… iCarly
The Movie Star… Somebody named Zendaya
The Professor… The kid from Iron Man 3
Mary Ann… My cousin Kylee recommended Bridget Mendler, but, admittedly, Kylee doesn’t know what Gilligan’s Island is
Josh Gad as The Millionaire
The quirky indie! We’ve seen a lot of stylistic liberties taken with old television programs and books, with an extra dose of contemporary eccentricity injected into properties like Dark Shadows or Fantastic Mr. Fox. Casting Gad as the (Internet) millionaire would kick off this new Gilligan with that dry, satirical flavor we find in so many offbeat indie flicks, rendering the entire island adventure a venue for deadpan non sequiturs and (quite appropriately) ukulele solos. Is Noah Baumbach available? No? Damn.
Gilligan… Jason Schwartzman
The Skipper… Mark Ruffalo (is he still doing this stuff, or is he all Hulk now?)
His Wife… Charlyne Yi
The Professor… Mark Duplass
The Movie Star… Zoe Kazan, or a Zoe Kazan equivalent
Mary Ann… Greta Gerwig, obviously
Josh Gad as His Wife
The broader-than-broad cross-dressing comedy! The kind of humor you find on the cutting room floor of Yogi Bear. If there’s time to work in a plot between instances of human (and animal) flatulence, so be it. Overweight Gad playing the butt of every joke as Thurston Howell III’s hilariously unattractive wife? That’s not just comedy, it’s America! Brett Ratner is already signed on for a three-picture deal.
Gilligan, The Skipper, The Millionaire, The Movie Star, and The Professor… Eddie Murphy
Mary Ann… An actual woman that they rope in for some semblance of a romantic arc
Josh Gad as The Movie Star
The classy Oscar candidate! Occasionally, a TV adaptation (i.e., The Fugitive) will reach far and beyond the constraints of its source material and actually churn out awards-caliber material. Casting Gad as a subversion of what we view as the epitome of traditional “celebrity” already lends itself to a more poignant and pensive Gilligan’s Island than any of us might have anticipated. We’re talking Sophia Coppola territory here. A drama that really says something about what it means for a septet of disparate humans to fend for themselves on a desert island.
Gilligan… Michael B. Jordan
The Skipper… Christian Bale (he’ll gain the weight)
The Millionaire… Jean Dujardin
His Wife… Marion Cotillard
The Professor… Sean Penn — is he still allowed to make movies?
Mary Ann… Rooney Mara
Josh Gad as The Professor
The sci-fi adventure! Gilligan’s Island, less a few anthropomorphic monkeys and some liberties taken with coconut-based technology, was rooted in the laws of our universe. But you can say the same for Scooby Doo and The Brady Bunch, and they went on to face real monsters and impending asteroids in their film incarnations. Sometimes, the step toward the big screen warrants an inclusion of fantasy. Maybe the island isn’t just uncharted, but cursed! Or the home of an undiscovered breed of monsters! Or a space-and-time-jumping beacon of electromagnetic energy that stands as an extended metaphor for the plight of the human soul! We can see the Bad Robot logo now…
Gilligan… Dave Franco
The Skipper… Dwayne Johnson
The Millionaire… Idris Elba — now you’re on board
His Wife… Gina Carano
The Movie Star… Zoe Saldana
Mary Ann… Elizabeth Olsen
Josh Gad as Mary Ann
Have you ever seen Head? The strange, cerebral, explosively meta deconstruction of the 1960s musical sitcom The Monkees? Well, we’re thinking that the Gilligan’s Island form would slink perfectly into these margins. It’s surreal, it’s ripe for analysis, it even has been suggested to represent the Seven Deadly Sins with each of its characters. Gad’s casting as Mary Ann already raises an eyebrow, but a progressive and artful director might well give us something worthy of some deep dives. Charlie Kaufman, make Gilligan’s Island about US.
Gilligan… Jared Leto
The Skipper… Meat Loaf
The Millionaire… Denis Lavant
His Wife… Catherine Keener
The Movie Star… Chloe Sevigny
The Professor… Joaquin Phoenix
So which version are you rooting for?