The Bold and the Beautiful is about to lose one of its main cast members, but for a very good reason. Kiara Barnes (Zoe Buckingham) has been cast as a lead on the Fox primetime series Fantasy Island, a remake of the 1978-1984 hit drama.
The original series, created by Gene Levitt and executive produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg, starred Ricardo Montalbán as the mysterious Mr. Roarke and Hervé Villechaize as his assistant Tattoo, both of whom granted guests so-called "fantasies" on the island for a price.
According to Deadline, Fox's modern version of the show will keep the semi-anthological format of the original and will feature three main characters who live and work on Fantasy Island, greeting new guests in each episode. The new Fantasy Island will be run by Elena Roarke (a role yet to be cast), who is a direct descendant of Mr. Roarke.
Barnes will play the lead role of warm and wise Ruby Okoro, who is described as a young woman with an old soul. She arrives on Fantasy Island with a terminal illness, but Roarke and the island give her a new lease on life.
Actor John Gabriel Rodriguez will play the heavily recurring role of Javier, Fantasy Island's rugged, handsome, and charismatic head of transport -- a pilot, mechanic, and jack of all trades. While the island provides Javier refuge, as with everything else it offers, it may come at the price of a reckoning.
The Fantasy Island reimagining, written and executive produced by Liz Craft and Sarah Fain, "delves into the 'what if' questions that keep us awake at night," reports Deadline. "Each episode will tell emotional, provocative stories about people who walk in with a desire, but end up reborn to themselves through the magical realism of Fantasy Island."
Barnes took to Instagram about her new gig, sharing, "Soooo...the cat is officially out of the bag! I'm so excited to be joining the cast for FANTASY ISLAND on FOX!!! I'm so grateful for everyone who made this possible. Dreams really do come true. Continue to believe, and you will receive. Cheers to a new adventure!"
Barnes will continue to air into July, when her three-year stint at B&B wraps up. Fantasy Island will premier this summer, but a first airdate has yet to be announced. At this time, there's no word on whether or not B&B will recast the role of Zoe or if they will write the character out.
"It’s been a pleasure having Kiara in the role of Zoe Buckingham on The Bold and the Beautiful. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors," Bradley Bell, B&B's head writer and executive producer, said in a statement.
Before making her acting debut on B&B in 2018, Barnes lived in New York City and modeled for major companies like DKNY, Maybelline, Sephora, Nike, and Adidas. She's also a budding musician, having released her first EP, Sirens to the Moon, on iTunes and Spotify in 2018.
UPDATE (May 31, 2021); FOX has released a series of trailers for the Fantasy Island reboot. In the first of two that are posted below, it's the first time viewers get an eyeful of Barnes.
How do you feel about Kiara Barnes wrapping her time as B&B's Zoe so she can star on Fox's Fantasy Island reboot? Will you miss Zoe Buckingham? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.