Netflix's mysterious sci-fi adventure thriller is already earning a ton of comparisons to other shows, so viewers checking out the new series from playwright Neil LaBute may be wondering what The I-Land is actually about. Its first teaser was fashioned after the now-infamous Fyre Festival promo video, with its promises of an "immersive" island experience and gorgeous tropical backdrop, prompting multiple critics to describe The I-Land's premise as "Lost meets the Fyre Festival." But it quickly became apparent that something far more sinister was going on.
The I-Land has also been called Lost meets The Hunger Games, Lost meets Black Mirror, Lost meets Westworld, and Lost meets Lord of the Flies. Basically, there's an overarching island castaway narrative combined with an overarching technology-is-bad narrative. Kate Bosworth stars in the series, alongside The Crossing's Natalie Martinez, Magic Mike alum Alex Pettyfer, and Seven Seconds regular Michelle Veintimilla.
In the series, a group of 10 young, beautiful people wake up on a picturesque but treacherous island with no memory of who they are or how they got there. Beginning with the fact that they're all wearing the same outfits, the island starts giving them a startling series of clues intimating that they're all there for a bigger reason. The I-Land's two trailers both show a group of shadowy figures surveilling the castaways on the island from a control room of sorts with dozens of TV screens. It soon seems like the castaways' fight to get off the island will be more challenging than they even realize.
Bosworth, who also serves as a producer on the series, told the New York Post in an interview:
It’s the idea of nature versus nurture. If you and I were to wake up on a deserted island, and something drastic were to happen, would we have souls? Is our instinct ingrained, or is it something we’ve learned through experience? All those themes are explored in a very extreme way throughout the series. Each episode gets more and more intense, and drastically so. The stakes get raised higher and higher. It’s binge-able.
She also teased that, for unexplained reasons, her character KC is among the most mysterious, hanging back as an observer in the group of castaways, especially when the wheels start to come off. The reason behind her character's apparent restraint in these life-or-death circumstances comes out as the series unfolds.
The second trailer reveals that the island and its dangers are indeed a simulation, but one which could have potentially deadly consequences. "If you die in here, you're dead out there, too," an older man in a black cowboy hat from the surveillance team tells one of the castaways. Another shadowy figure reveals that "if you do something wrong, the island pays you pack," amidst a montage of the castaways apparently trying to kill one another off.
The good news is, The I-Land is being released as a complete seven-part miniseries, so whatever questions are raised throughout the course of the show will be answered before your marathon is over.
The I-Land is now streaming on Netflix.