The latest news pertaining to Fox’s reboot of the hour-long speculative fiction program Fantasy Island concerns the casting of Puerto Rican actress Roselyn Sanchez (Grand Hotel, Devious Maids) as lead character Elena Roarke, according to Variety. Sanchez’s character is allegedly the descendant of the mysterious Mr. Roarke from the original ABC series, played by Emmy Award-winning Mexican actor Ricardo Montalbán (The Naked Gun, How the West Was Won): “Elena set aside her own ambitions, and even the love of her life, to uphold her family’s legacy. Sophisticated, insightful and always charming, Elena’s calm exterior masks the challenges of the responsibilities she has assumed as steward of the[e]… island,” via Variety.
In addition to her work onscreen, Sanchez is a veritable multi-hyphenate. She made her directorial debut in October 2020 with the Emmy-winning narrative short film Satos, which addresses Puerto Rico’s underreported troubles with stray dog overpopulation, according to Spectrum News. She was additionally nominated for a Latin Grammy in the early 2000’s for the music video for her single “Amor Amor,” featuring Puerto Rican reggaeton artist Tego Calderón.
Sanchez is also a published author. She and her husband of over ten years, actor Eric Winter (Witches of East End, Comet), wrote a picture book together titled Sebi in the Land of Cha Cha Cha with the intent of crafting a children’s primer on Latin dance, according to Kirkus Reviews. Sanchez and Winter also share hosting duties on the He Said, Ella Dijo podcast.
The Fantasy Island reboot continues the structural tradition of the classic ABC drama, but updates it for the contemporary era: “[I]t takes place at a luxury resort where literally any fantasy requested by guests is fulfilled, though they rarely turn out as expected. Delving into the ‘what if’ questions… that keep us awake at night, each episode will tell emotional, provocative stories about people who arrive with dreams and desires and depart enlightened,” via The Hollywood Reporter. Javier, Elena’s subordinate and the resort’s head of transportation, will be played by John Gabriel Rodriquez (NCIS, Allegiant). The series is penned and executive produced by the two-woman team of Sarah Fain and Elizabeth Craft (Women’s Murder Club, 666 Park Avenue). Sanchez conveyed her anticipation regarding Fantasy Island in a post on her Twitter where she thanked Craft.
— Roselyn Sanchez (@Roselyn_Sanchez) April 28, 2021