The islands of Hawaii will figure prominently in the new Hawaii Five-O television series. Producers refer to Hawaii as the “fifth character of the show.”
“Our president is from Hawaii. We have a perfect storm of Hawaii being relevant and an important hub internationally,” say executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. They describe Hawaii as a gateway into the United States and from the US out to the world. This allows them to tell not just American stories, but ones with an international flavor as well. “Hawaii is an international destination and the stories will reflect that position in the world rather than the neighborhood murder.”
Kurtzman and Orci produced Fringe and the recent Star Trek movie. The Hawaii Five-O creative team also includes Peter Lenkov, whose credits include 24 and CSI:NY. Lenkov says the original Hawaii Five-O was his dad’s favorite television program. “It is important to honor the original show,” he says. “One of the pitfalls in a remake is not respecting or being passionate about the original material. We are all very passionate about the original show and understand what made it work.”
The producers spoke this week at Comic-Con in San Diego, along with the director of the pilot, Len Wiseman (Underworld and Live Free or Die Hard). Wiseman and Lenkov were asked what it was like working in Hawaii. They responded, “People in Hawaii opened arms and doors to us, because of the brand. Nobody said no to us, we were able to do whatever we wanted to do.” Lenkov said he did some ride-alongs with the police department and spent a lot of time talking with them to get a sense of the types of crime that are unique to this area of the world.
Hawaii Five-O won the award for Most Anticipated New Show at Comic-Con. Fans had a chance to win one of three surf boards signed by the cast, limited run t-shirts, collector edition posters, ringtone cards with the show’s theme song and a “vacation getaway to the filming location of H50 on the tropical and vibrant island of Oahu” — the show’s fifth star.