Sunday 16th August 2020
In Blumhouse's Fantasy Island, the enigmatic Mr. Roarke makes the secret dreams of his lucky guests come true at a luxurious and remote tropical resort. But when the fantasies become nightmares, the guests have to solve the island's mystery in order to escape with their lives.
A Jeff Wadlow film, Columbia Pictures and Blumhouse present a Tower of Babble production, Blumhouse's Fantasy Island.
Starring Michael Peña, Maggie Q, Lucy Hale, Austin Stowell, Jimmy O. Yang, Portia Doubleday, Ryan Hansen, and Michael Rooker. Directed by Jeff Wadlow. Produced by Jason Blum, Marc Toberoff, and Jeff Wadlow. Written by Jeff Wadlow & Chris Roach & Jillian Jacobs. The Executive Producers are Couper Samuelson and Jeanette Volturno. The Director of Photography is Toby Oliver ACS. The Production Designer is Marc Fisichella. The film is edited by Sean Albertson, ACE. The Costume Designer is Lisa Norcia. Music by Bear McCreary. Casting by Terri Taylor, CSA, Sarah Domeier Lindo, CSA, and Nikki Barrett, CSA.
We all have our fantasies. Maybe we picture ourselves on a beautiful tropical island where anything is possible. Or to live out a life we never quite got the chance to experience. Or to make something right that we regret from our past. Or maybe it's something darker... something we'd never act out in real life but can only imagine making real.
Be careful what you wish for. In Blumhouse's Fantasy Island, any fantasy could come true... but fantasies come with a price.
At the center of the movie is the enigmatic Mr. Roarke, the white-suited steward of an island where fantasies come to life. He has welcomed the island's guests, all with distinct fantasies, to come to the island where they will live out their dreams, but also with the promise and the warning: the results may not be what was intended.
"It's the ultimate wish-fulfillment movie," says producer Jason Blum, whose Blumhouse label has brought horror fans some of the top movies in the genre. "The idea of going to a magical place where all of your fantasies come true - and things go very wrong - that's very ripe for a thriller."
For Blum, the movie fits squarely into the Blumhouse oeuvre. "The reason this is a Blumhouse film is that we try to focus on character and drama and story - anything scary is organic to the storytelling and to the dramatic arcs of the characters. When fans go to see Blumhouse's Fantasy Island, they're going to see this situation that - except for the island where wishes come true - feels very grounded, it feels very real. And because of that, it feels much scarier."
The project originated as producer Marc Toberoff obtained the film rights from Gene Levitt, the creator of the iconic television series, setting up a potential movie at Columbia with the pitch "be careful what you wish for." Later, co-writer/director/producer Jeff Wadlow, who had helmed Blumhouse's hit Truth or Dare, indicated to Blum that he had an idea for a supernatural thriller inspired by 'Fantasy Island.' "Jeff's idea seemed really exciting to me," says Blum. "I love working with existing IP and reinventing it, and there seemed like a great opportunity with this film to do just that."
No wonder that it seemed like a great idea. The original television series, which was created by Gene Levitt and starred Ricardo Montalbán as Mr. Roarke, ran for seven seasons and became iconic, entering the culture to such a degree that even audiences who haven't seen the show have a sense of it. So Blum was a huge believer in Wadlow's idea - and if you're going to do a project inspired by "Fantasy Island", why not see if you can actually work with the real deal? The producer approached the rightsholder, Sony Pictures, to see what was possible. "A month after I mentioned it to him, Jason called me up and said, 'So you like "Fantasy Island?"' 'Well, yeah, who doesn't.' And he asked, 'You wanna make a movie version of it?' 'Is that possible?' 'Yeah, I got the rights.' So I responded, "Hell, yeah!" And we were off to the races."
Wadlow says that the idea came naturally to him because the themes were always present in the material. "I loved the dark magical realism of the original show," he says. "It dealt with real emotions and real characters, but manifested them in a surreal way that always had a little bit of an edge, a little bit of bite. They always seemed to embrace the notion of wish fulfillment at a terrible price and presented it in a unique fashion every week."
For Wadlow, the fact that younger audiences might not be so familiar with the original show was part of its appeal. "To me, that's exactly the kind of IP that we should be remaking," he says. "If you have a great piece of IP that isn't as present in the popular consciousness as it used to be, that's the moment to reintroduce it and to spin it with a new take on it, so that you're both engaging the fans that do remember it but also offering it up to a whole new generation that might not be familiar with it."
As Wadlow and his writing partners, Chris Roach and Jillian Jacobs, began to plot out what they wanted the movie to be, the first step (natch) was to start fantasizing. "One of the first things we did was just to list the kind of fantasies you would expect - sure, we had the deep, emotional ones, but we also had the fun, superficial fantasies. And we kept in mind that the fantasies were going to be realised, but they were never going to come to fruition exactly the way that you expected. In fact, we made a point of telling the guests and the audience that up front - so we're not trying to trick anybody in that respect."
It was also important to Wadlow to offer several nods to the original - Mr. Roarke's white suit a good example - but also structural points. "The film begins with a plane arriving. I think that's really important," he says. "During development, it was suggested that maybe we should meet the guests at home, before they leave, and I said, 'No, the first time we see them is when they get off the plane, just like the show.' That's not about being slavish to the original; there's a certain elegance to that - we only meet them when they show up on the island."
Another structural choice Wadlow transferred to the feature film is the interplay of four fantasies. "For the majority of our movie, we're tackling four different fantasies with different characters and showing you how the fantasies unfold in surprising ways, as if you are watching two episodes of the original show," he notes. "For me, it was important to make that structure work before we altered it."
Wadlow says that he hopes people have fun seeing the dark fantasies play out as if the audience was orchestrating the fantasies themselves. "We are presenting a narrative that has an awareness that we are intentionally putting the characters through a gauntlet, an ordeal that will force them to grow and change and experience their fantasies in a way that they weren't expecting," he says. "I hope that the audience enjoys that process and with a little bit of glee, watching these people learn their lesson."
At the center of the fantasies is Mr. Roarke, played by Michael Peña. "What I love about what Michael Peña did with the role is that he feels both contemporary and timeless. I can't think of another actor who could have pulled that off," says Wadlow. "We wanted to keep him in the shadows at first, to make him feel mysterious and elusive, then over the course of the film, pull back the layers and play with the audience's understanding of Roarke - sometimes he's funny, sometimes he's sinister, sometimes he's curt, sometimes he's overly formal. There's a large section of the film where the audience might wonder if Roarke is malevolent, that he somehow wants bad things to happen to these people. They'll be asking, hopefully, 'Why would he want that, is he trying to teach them a hard lesson?' We always want to keep the audience on their toes and keep them wondering, what is this guy's deal?"
Wadlow also notes that for much of the film, Roarke's relationship with the island is opaque. "Is the island his, or is he part of the island? I think that relationship starts to become significant as the film progresses. We begin to question the power dynamic as the island starts to manifest as a character itself."
"Roarke is on his own journey with Fantasy Island," says Peña. "He has one particular rule, which is to see each fantasy through to its natural conclusion. And he warns that fantasies often do not play out the way they are envisioned. Throughout, it's not clear - what is Roarke's relationship to the island. Who is the true orchestrator of the fantasies, Roarke or the island itself? Is Roarke the island's steward, like he claims - or does he control the island? Or is he actually part of the island, a manifestation of it?"
Peña says that he couldn't help but take some inspiration from Ricardo Montalbán's legendary portrayal of Mr. Roarke. "That performance is so cemented in my imagination, in my recollection, my memories," he says. Part of the reason for that cementation, Peña notes, is perhaps that he is an American of Mexican descent and looked to Montalbán, a Mexican actor, in solidarity. "I did it just a little bit like he did - it's not an imitation, it's a personalization of things that he did. Number one was the accent, with Montalbán being Mexican. I had just finished doing 'Narcos,' where I spent eight months in Mexico City; it's a very distinct accent that they have - a Spanish accent when they speak English - that I found fascinating."
For Wadlow, Blumhouse's Fantasy Island represented a natural fit with the Blumhouse model because right in its conceit are the core tenets of storytelling. "You want the plot to illuminate character, and this film has such a clean device to do that," he says - the characters literally get to say what they want and how they expect it to play out. "Just the expression of that fantasy reveals character. As storytellers, Chris and Jill and I, we've tried to be clever with how those fantasies unfold. We reveal more about the character, test the character, and force them to grow and change as they confront some twisted version of their fantasy."
In strong contrast to the others, Gwen Olsen, played by Maggie Q, has a fantasy that right from the beginning seems deeper and full of regret. "Gwen has a lot of questions about paths not taken," says Wadlow. "I think that's something we can all relate to - what if I made a different choice, what if I could change this moment. What's interesting about her character is that at first, she can't quite pin down what that moment is. We all wonder what our lives would look like if we made different choices, but if I said you could just change one thing, what would it be, I think people would have to wrestle with that."
"Gwen has these moments from her past where she feels like her life may have passed her by," says Maggie Q. "She didn't grab happiness when she had the chance, and now she has a lot of regret. Her fantasy is about being able to get a do-over, to live out her life the other way. But the real reasons for her regret go even deeper, and she'll have to get to the root of it as her fantasy plays out."
"Gwen really grounds the movie - she's a character with real emotional depth, which is always fun to play," the actress continues. "Right from the beginning, your heart breaks for her, and you want to see her get the life of happiness and peace that we all deserve - and she has to go through a hell of a journey if that's going to happen. It's a real testament to the character that Jeff and Chris and Jillian created in their screenplay."
Lucy Hale of "Katy Keene" and star of Wadlow's Blumhouse hit Truth or Dare, plays Melanie Cole, whose fantasy at first seems straightforward. "Melanie is hiding some old wounds from her past," she explains. "She comes to the island because she wants revenge on a childhood bully."
And that fantasy comes to terrifying life when that bully - Sloane Maddison, played by Portia Doubleday - is suddenly before her, with Melanie at the controls. "Melanie just wanted to feel what it's like to get revenge, but then she realises that they've actually brought her nemesis to the island and what's happening is real. As soon as she realises that, she tries to put a stop to it."
Perhaps the seemingly shallowest of the fantasies is JD's (Ryan Hansen), who has brought his adopted brother, Brax (Jimmy O. Yang), to Fantasy Island to share his wish "to have it all." They are almost immediately introduced to a wild and luxurious rave, surrounded by beautiful people.
"They fantasise about this baller lifestyle, 'to have it all,' but the truth of it is that they already had it all, which was a real connection, a real relationship, a real familial bond that they would quite literally give up their lives for," says Wadlow.
Yang says that he was excited to join the party. "Of course, I'd heard of the show, and in the research for this, I watched a whole bunch of episodes and it's a very cool show. Really reminds me of 'The Twilight Zone' and all the great fantasies gone awry. Now we're making a really cool version of that with a Blumhouse twist - adding the Blumhouse thriller to it."
Austin Stowell plays Patrick Sullivan, a cop who's always daydreamed of meeting his father, who died in combat.
But like the others, Patrick soon discovers that his fantasy goes much deeper than he was expecting. "It's a childlike fantasy to get to run around and play with guns and shoot the bad guys, but that quickly evolves," says Stowell. "These are real people dealing with regret and having the one chance to reverse it and come to terms with the events of their past. It's a scary film, but it's also incredibly relatable."
To shoot the island locations, the production brought the cast and crew to Fiji in the South Pacific, where they lived on a cruise ship for the first two weeks of production.
"Fiji was actually always one of my bucket-list places to visit," says Hale. "It's one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to. We went to waterfalls, we went hiking. It was really hot, but our skin was glowing."
But if that sounds like a fantasy, the cast and crew say... be careful what you wish for.
"We'd get on a boat in the morning, hit the shore, turn the cameras on and shoot a scene," says Wadlow. "The natural beauty was awe-inspiring; you just had to film it. But there were a lot of modern amenities that we take for granted - like cell phone service and office supplies - that were not present, and you just had to figure it out. In many ways it was old-school filmmaking. I didn't have a Technocrane, the cast didn't have trailers. It was rugged, but really gratifying. Thankfully we had an incredible crew that pulled together and made the movie happen. Without them, we would have never gotten off the island with such amazing footage"
Living on a cruise ship definitely had its challenges, from seasickness to cramped quarters to general boredom. But it all worked out in the end, mostly due to the camaraderie of the cast and crew.
"If you're going to be staying on a ship in the middle of an ocean, you'd better hope that the people you're working with are satisfying and kind," adds Stowell. "I'm lucky to say that we bonded almost instantly - hanging out off set, playing cards, going kayaking. I'm lucky to have had castmates who are just such lovely people."
But maybe the biggest challenge of shooting in Fiji, Hansen says, is that you're there to shoot in Fiji. "We actually had to work sometimes," he laughs. "I'd just want to snorkel and cliff jump and scuba dive all day, but I couldn't. It was unfortunate - we actually had to work!"
Michael Peña (Mr. Roarke) has set himself apart in Hollywood as an actor whose immense range has allowed him to work with many high-profile directors, alongside scores of well-known actors, and in dozens of the most awarded films of his generation.
Peña was last seen with Eva Longoria and Isabela Moner in the live-action film Dora and the Lost City of Gold, based on the popular animated series, as well as CBS Films' Lexi opposite Adam Devine. He was also recently in Clint Eastwood's The Mule and the critically acclaimed anthology series Narcos: Mexico on Netflix, where he portrayed real-life DEA Agent Kiki Camarena.
Peña also starred alongside Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon in 12 Strong, starred in the Netflix thriller Extinction opposite Lizzy Caplan, appeared in A Wrinkle in Time, with Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine, had a memorable role in the David O. Russell film American Hustle, and co-starred in Marvel's Ant Man and The Wasp and The Martian, both of which crossed the $500 million dollar mark in international box office sales. Peña was also recently heard in The Lego Ninjago Movie and My Little Pony: The Movie, seen in Collateral Beauty starring Will Smith, War on Everyone, opposite Alexander Skarsgard, as well as the Comedy CHiPS with Dax Shepard. In 2012, he was seen in the critically acclaimed End of Watch, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. For his performance as Officer Zavala, Peña was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and the film was recognised by the National Board of Review as one of the Top 10 Independent Films of the year.
Peña earned notable recognition for his performance in Paul Haggis' provocative Oscar®-winning film Crash, and has had significant roles in films such as David Ayer's Fury with Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf, Everything Must Go, alongside Will Ferrell and Rebecca Hall, Gangster Squad, opposite Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling, The Lucky Ones, co-starring Rachel McAdams and Tim Robbins, Jody Hill's comedy Observe and Report with Seth Rogen, Robert Redford's political drama Lions for Lambs with Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep, Cesar Chavez, in which he starred as the famous civil rights leader and labour organiser for Diego Luna's English language directorial debut, and Werner Herzog and David Lynch's psychological thriller My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done, starring Michael Shannon, Willem Dafoe and Chloë Sevigny.
Peña's other noteworthy film credits consist of Oliver Stone's World Trade Center, Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby, Gregor Jordan's Buffalo Soldiers, Antoine Fuqua's Shooter, Brett Ratner's Tower Heist, and Alejandro González Iñárritu's Babel.
On television, Peña also starred in the HBO film Walkout, based on the true story of a young Mexican-American high school teacher who helped stage a massive student walkout in the mid-1960s. Peña received an Imagen Award for Best Actor for his performance.
Raised in Chicago, Peña began acting when he beat out hundreds of others in an open call for a role in Peter Bogdanovich's To Sir, With Love 2, starring Sidney Poitier.
Maggie Q (Gwen Olsen) is a diverse and talented actress, a humanitarian and activist for animal rights and a health advocate for all. She starred as F.B.I Agent Hannah Wells on ABC/Netflix's drama Designated Survivor from 2016-2019. Best known for her role as Nikita on CW's successful action series of the same name, the series chronicled the story of a rogue assassin (played by Maggie Q) who returns to take down the secret organisation that trained her.
Maggie is currently shooting the action-thriller The Asset, opposite Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson. She most recently starred in Lionsgate's The Con is On opposite Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, and Sofia Vergara. In March 2014, Maggie starred as Tori in Summit Entertainment's box office hit Divergent, alongside Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet and Naomi Watts; she returned in Allegiant, which was released in March of 2016. Additional film credits include Mission: Impossible III, Live Free or Die Hard, Deception, New York, I Love You, Balls of Fury, House of Harmony, Rush Hour 2, The Warrior and the Wolf, and Daniel Lee's Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon, Dragon Squad, Naked Weapon and Gen-X Cops 2.
Maggie is a native of Honolulu, Hawaii and has traveled the globe since her upbringing. She is an animal and human rights activist through her support of programs such as PETA, Best Friends, WildAid, Kageno and the Washington D.C. based PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine).
Her love for the planet and our oceans led her to create the activewear company QEEP UP made from 100% recycled materials pulled from the ocean and made in the US. As founder, Maggie is able to realise her dream of connecting passion to purpose, weaving together the elements of her life and career. With her singular compassion as the cornerstone, Maggie is creating a new NATION of earth warriors who share her allencompassing love of the planet.
Lucy Hale (Melanie Cole) has captured the attention of millions through her dynamic on-screen performances in some of the most buzzed about projects in film and television.
Hale will next star as the titular character in The CW's highly anticipated series Katy Keene. The series, a Riverdale spinoff based off the Archie Comics characters, is set to premiere midseason. Additional upcoming projects include the romantic comedy The Hating Game - based off the best-selling book - opposite Robbie Amell, Big Gold Brick opposite Andy Garcia, Megan Fox, and Oscar Isaac, and Son of the South from Executive Producer Spike Lee.
Most recently, Hale starred in The CW's drama series Life Sentence. Last spring, she starred in the thriller Truth or Dare from Blumhouse Productions alongside Tyler Posey; the movie is one of Blumhouse's most profitable features to date. That same spring, Hale was seen in the indie film The Unicorn, which had its world premiere at SXSW in March 2018, and leading an ensemble cast in the Netflix film Dude, alongside Kathryn Prescott and Alexandra Shipp.
In 2010, Freeform's smash-hit series Pretty Little Liars premiered, launching Hale in stardom. For her portrayal of Aria Montgomery, Hale won a People's Choice Award for Favourite Cable TV Actress in 2014; she was nominated for the same award the following three years. She has also won seven Teen Choice Awards for Choice TV Actress/Star, and she was presented with the 2013 Gracie Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Rising Star. The seventh and final season of the show aired on June 27, 2017.
Prior to Pretty Little Liars, Hale starred as the lead in The CW's critically acclaimed comedy Privileged. That same year, Hale starred in Warner Bros.' coming of age comedy The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 alongside Blake Lively, Amber Tamblyn, and America Ferrera. She also starred as the lead in ABC Family's teen musical A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song alongside Freddie Stroma and lent her voice to Disney's animated film Secret of the Wings.
In addition to her thriving acting career, Hale joined forces with Rascal Flatts to release a cover of Frozen's epic anthem Let It Go for the 2015 We Love Disney compilation. This followed the release of her debut album Road Between the year prior.
Following supporting turns in Steven Spielberg's 2015 Oscar®-nominated drama Bridge of Spies and 2014's Oscar®-nominated and Sundance Grand Jury and Audience Award winning film Whiplash, rising star actor Austin Stowell (Patrick Sullivan) continues to make a name for himself.
Last year, Stowell starred in David Michod's Golden Globe-nominated adaptation of Joseph Heller's classic novel Catch-22, which premiered in May 2019 on Hulu. The six episode miniseries saw Stowell opposite George Clooney and Kyle Chandler. Stowell's latest film, the indie horror-drama Swallow, written and directed by Carlo Mirabella Davis, premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.
Next up for Stowell is the Apple TV+ anthology series Amazing Stories, based on the 1985 television series of the same name created by Steven Spielberg.
In 2018, Stowell starred opposite Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, and Michael Peña in Warner Brothers 12 Strong, a drama based on Doug Stanton's nonfiction book Horse Soldiers, adapted by Peter Craig and Ted Tally. In 2017, Stowell appeared in Fox Searchlight's Battle of the Sexes alongside Emma Stone, Steve Carell, and Elisabeth Shue.
Past credits include Colossal opposite Anne Hathaway; In Dubious Battle, the film adaptation of the 1936 John Steinbeck novel of the same name directed by James Franco, and co-starring Robert Duvall, Vincent D'Onofrio, Ed Harris, and Bryan Cranston; Public Morals, written/directed by and starring Ed Burns, and executive produced by Spielberg; Steven Soderbergh's Behind the Candelabra, the award winning HBO film based on the life of celebrated pianist Liberace, played by Michael Douglas; Warner Brothers hit family films Dolphin Tale 1 & 2 opposite Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick, Jr., and Ashley Judd; Behaving Badly opposite Selena Gomez; and Love and Honor opposite Liam Hemsworth.
His introduction to Hollywood came as 'Jesse' on Secret Life of The American Teenager. What began as a single episode gig turned into a 17-episode arc, spanning two seasons on the hit ABC Family series.
Growing up in Connecticut, Stowell was a competitive athlete. After a sports injury sidelined him, he agreed to perform in a local theater production and it was there that he discovered a passion for acting. A college recruiter in the audience offered Stowell a full scholarship the University of Connecticut Department of Dramatic Arts. Shortly after graduating, Stowell moved to LA, where he currently resides.
Jimmy O. Yang (Brax Weaver) is an actor, stand-up comedian, and writer best known for his portrayal of Jian Yang on HBO's Emmy-nominated series Silicon Valley and his dramatic turn opposite Mark Wahlberg in the highly acclaimed film Patriot's Day. He was recently seen in the hit Warner Bros. film Crazy Rich Asians. Born in Hong Kong, Yang moved to Los Angeles when he was 13, where he eventually made his television debut on the CBS series 2 Broke Girls and his first late-night stand-up appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show, where he received a rare standing ovation. The author of the book How to American: An Immigrant's Guide to Disappointing Your Parents, he lives in Los Angeles.
Other film credits include Life of the Party, Juliet Naked, The Happytime Murders, El Camino Christmas, and the upcoming The Opening Act. Yang can currently be seen in theaters in Paramount's Like a Boss opposite Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne.
Portia Doubleday (Sloane Maddison) starred as the multi-layered Angela and very resourceful and loving friend to Rami Malek's character Elliot on the critically acclaimed Anonymous Content/USA series Mr. Robot, which concluded its fourth and final season. The show won numerous awards, including the Golden Globe for Best Television Drama, the Gotham Award for Breakthrough Series, the Critics' Choice Award for Best Drama Series and the Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival.
Doubleday made her film debut in the starring role opposite Michael Cera in Miguel Arteta's film Youth in Revolt, which was named one of the ten best films of the year by the National Board of Review. Other film credits include Spike Jonze's Academy Award® winning film Her, in which she played the sex surrogate alongside Joaquin Phoenix, and Carrie, opposite Chloe Moretz, as bad girl Chris Hargensen. She is equally adept at comedy, having co-starred alongside Martin Lawrence in 20th Century Fox's Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son and as Matthew Perry's off-kilter assistant on ABC's Mr. Sunshine.
Ryan Hansen (JD Weaver) recently reprised the beloved character Dick Casablancas opposite Kristen Bell in the highly anticipated revival of Veronica Mars for Hulu. He previously headlined the comedy series Ryan Hansen Solves Crime on Television created by Rawson Marshall Thurber (w/co-stars Samira Whiley and Wood Harris) and starred opposite Kevin Hart and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in the blockbuster comedy Central Intelligence for New Line. Later this year, he will be seen in Friendsgiving with Malin Akerman and Kat Dennings.
Hansen amassed a huge cult following his starring in both Veronica Mars and Starz original comedy series Party Down. Audiences also know him from a variety of other hit shows including The Mindy Project, 2 Broke Girls, Portlandia, Veep, and Santa Clarita Diet. He also starred opposite Kate Walsh in the NBC series Bad Judge and in the CBS series Bad Teacher alongside Ari Graynor and David Alan Grier. Hansen played bachelor Blaze with a slew of A-list stars in Yahoo! and Red Hour's popular web series Burning Love.
His film credits include Bad Santa 2, CHiPs, Superhero Movie, House Broken opposite Danny DeVito, Friended to Death, Friday the 13th, and Like a Boss.
Michael Rooker (Damon) just wrapped a leading role in James Gunn's The Suicide Squad opposite Margot Robbie, Taika Waititi, and Idris Elba. He also wrapped production on Fast and Furious 9 opposite Charlize Theron. Earlier this year, Rooker shot a lead role in Monster Problems for 21 Laps/Paramount Pictures. In television, he will next star in the pilot Dark Tower for Amazon/MRC. Most recently, Rooker could be seen opposite Mahershala Ali in True Detective for HBO.
Rooker is enjoying a storied career in film and television spanning many years, although it's likely his work in the last five years people will reference when his name is mentioned. With the enormous success of his fan-favorite roles on-screen as Yondu in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and in television as Merle in The Walking Dead, Rooker is seemingly everywhere. It's a somewhat funny observation, given Rooker has worked for numerous and eclectic filmmakers such as Oliver Stone, Antoine Fuqua, John Singleton, Phillip Noyce, Paul Schrader, Kevin Smith and George A. Romero. Older generations love Rooker's work in Alan Parker's Mississippi Burning and Harold Becker's Sea of Love, but it's the younger crowd that find his more recent work so appealing as to nominate him for a Teen Choice Award in the category of Choice Scene Stealer (for his role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2).