Hawaii Five-0 is not, we repeat, not a remake of the original series, the producers stressed at the Television Critics Association fall preview on Wednesday.
"For me, the word remake suggests we're doing exactly the same thing," said executive producer Alex Kurtzman. "What we felt like we really had to do was make sure we stay true to the original spirit of the show, but bring something new to the table that modern audiences would recognize. For us, that's why the word 'reboot' just feels more appropriate."
While the new series certainly pays homage to the original, star Alex O'Loughlin is confident that they'll stand apart from Jack Lord's McGarrett and Co. "I don't think we feel like we have to do anything, we will stand out from the original. It's 50 years later," he said. "We pay homage to the old show and we come at it with the grace, respect and integrity that we do so we can go off in different directions."
One difference the audience will notice is that Danno (Scott Caan) won't be playing second fiddle to O'Loughlin's Steve McGarrett, but rather the pair will be on more equal footing. "We felt that we needed McGarett to play off somebody," said executive producer Peter Lenkov. "The Danno character really felt like he'd be a good foil in some ways. By design, originally, it was that these two guys would be front and center on the show."
One of the things that won't change is that Hawaiian scenery will always be a prominent part of the show. "Hawaii is the fifth character on the show; Hawaii is the fifth Beatle," said Kurtzman. And as for the iconic Five-0 theme song, production sought out the musicians from the original recording to recapture the same essence. "Why mess with something that's perfect?" Kurtzman added.