During its 1990s syndicated TV heyday, Baywatch was synonymous with star David Hasselhoff, as well as a sizable, rotating cast of beautiful bathing-suit clad ladies that included Pamela Anderson, Nicole Eggert, Yasmin Bleeth, and Carmen Electra. But that was over 20 years ago, and like most forms of media that were once popular, they stand to be reborn (somewhat ironically) as feature films aimed at poking fun at its origins as much as it is paying homage.
And, like 21 Jump Street (and its sequel, 22 Jump Street) before it, Baywatch is getting a big-screen action-comedy adaptation. The new version will keep the core characters in place, but it has re-cast them with up-and-coming talent — all of whom will be led by the charismatic Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Johnson, who has made a habit lately of breaking movie news on his Instagram feed, took to that social network Wednesday in order to share a new cast photo for the film, which is set for release in May of 2017. Johnson calls it an “exclusive first look [at] Our entire #BAYWATCH squad,” which includes Johnson himself, his San Andreas daughter Alexandra Daddario, Jon Bass, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera, and Zac Efron. Not surprisingly, the photo sees the crew running (you will have to visualize it being in slow motion yourself) along the sand and the surf — otherwise known as the lifeguard’s prime territory. Take a look at the image below:
EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK: Our entire #BAYWATCH squad. Are we bad ass? Yes. Do we save lives? All day. Are we a dysfunctional family? Epically. Do we have fun? F*CK YES. We work hard, we play hard. @thejonbass @alexannadaddario @kellyrohrbach @ilfenator @zacefron #BAYWATCH Get ready world... MAY 19, 2017. (and yes, I'm the king of the #FargoStrut.. squared circle historians know what that means.. #OurBelovedMemphisTerritory woo!)
The film began production last month and is being shot mostly in South Florida, under the direction of Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses, Identity Thief). As mentioned above, the actors will be playing characters from the TV show, with Johnson in the Hasselhoff role of Mitch Buchannon, Daddario playing Eggert’s character of Summer Quinn, Rohrbach in Anderson’s old part of C.J. Parker. Meanwhile, Efron is playing David Charvet’s old part as Matt Brody. Priyanka Chopra (Quantico) is in the film as well, as is Hasselhoff himself, although neither is included in Johnson’s photo. A photo of the two Mitch Buchannons surfaced earlier this month.
Can Baywatch work on screen? There’s a good chance it can. Its appeal, of beautiful people in the sun performing daring rescues, is pretty timeless, and a franchise that sustained 10 seasons worth of plot could probably fill a movie. And Johnson’s screen presence is such that he’s able to make even questionable projects interesting. Plus, if the film really does follow in the footsteps of something like 21 Jump Street, it stands a good chance of being a hit with audiences looking for that nostalgic comedy with a twist. And given that one of the main screenwriters is Robert Ben Garant of Reno 911 fame, Baywatch stands a chance at hitting all the right comedy notes.
Baywatch opens in U.S. theaters on May 19th, 2017.
Source: Dwayne Johnson