The Marlon Brando image has always been a challenge for entrepreneurs who have tried to capitalize on it. The legendary actor, who died in 2004, remains something of an enigma due mainly to his versatility. Is he the primal Stanley Kowalski? The rebellious “Wild One”? The slow-witted but ultimately noble Terry Malloy of On the Waterfront? Perhaps today’s audiences know him best as The Godfather, a film that continues to inject itself into the pop culture today nearly 40 years after its release.
Now the trustees of Brando’s estate are planning the development of The Brando, an ecologically friendly resort on the formerly Brando-owned atoll of Tetiaroa, in the South Pacific. But the actor’s fans will have to wait for the privilege of living like the movie star did: The complex, which will include 40 or more bungalows to be built at a cost of between $50 million and $100 million, is unlikely to open before 2012.
The planned site of the The Brando resort on the Tetiaroa atoll.
The project has been kicking around for several years now, since Tahiti-based property tycoon Richard Bailey purchased the island in 2004.
Ramez Toubassy, the president of Brand Sense Partners, which has just signed on as licensing agent for the Brando estate, said his company is looking particularly to the young Brando for inspiration. “There was a style and masculine quality about him that we think could go into fashion or decor,” Toubassy told the New York Times.