Despite being canceled after its first season originally and suffering saw a location, title, and major cast changes near the end, Baywatch was one of the longest-running and most successful TV series ever. It helped further popularize David Hasselhoff in the ’90s after his ’80s run in Knight Rider and represents career highlights for Pamela Anderson and Carmen Electra. Even Jason Momoa, Aquaman himself, had a role in Baywatch Miami for the series’ last few seasons.
Now a big budget feature film is in development with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson playing the lead character Mitch Buchannon originally played by Hasselhoff, co-starring with Zac Efron. Where the original show’s beach stories took place in Los Angeles before moving to Hawaii, the Baywatch movie is shooting in Miami and Savannah.
Paramount pictures is distributing Baywatch as a summer blockbuster and announced the official star of principal photography yesterday. The film’s story will center on the hostile relationship between the leads, Buchannon and the team’s new recruit (Efron), who in standarad Baywatch fashion, “uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay.”
Here are some images and story bits The Rock has been sharing this week from set of Baywatch as production begins:
EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK: #BAYWATCH Day 1. My character “Mitch Buchannon” just gave @zacefron’s character “Matt Brody” the all important beach speech about what it means to have manly “Alpha balls”. Zac’s ad-libbed responses were brilliant! Talented and great dude. World get ready to have some fun, ’cause the beach will never be the same again. #OnSet #BAYWATCH #Day1 #AlphaBalls #NowWhoNeedsMouthToMouth?😂
As for whether or not we can expect to see cameo appearances from original stars, Hasselhoff – who actually helped save the original show and earned an executive producer credit for it, would only say that he “I don’t really know” when asked by This Morning show in the UK. He further clarified that while viewers laughed and poked fun at the original Baywatch series he doesn’t want the movie or property to become a joke.
“If Baywatch was going to be a send up or a joke, I don’t think so.”
Of course, he’d have to be playing a different character this time around. As for a chance of appearing in Knight Rider, another Hoff classic being remade as a movie?
“If Knight Rider is true to Knight Rider, I would do it.”
At this point, we don’t even know if the original stars have been asked. Johnson revealed at the D23 convention in August that he and the creative team behind (listed below) this movie haven’t reached out to any of the original stars and Pamela Anderson, who played the original C.J. Parker – the most sought after role in the new movie according to Johnson – she told TMZ around the time that she wasn’t too enthused about the idea.
“No one appreciates the remakes.”
The new C.J. will be played by Kelly Rohrbach but the female lead role went to The Rock’s San Andreas co-star Alexandra Daddario. Supporting cast members include Priyanka Chopra (Quantico), Jon Bass (Big Time in Hollywood, FL), Ilfenesh Hadera (Billions), and Hannibal Buress (Daddy’s Home).
Expect this one to launch another ongoing film franchise for The Rock?
Seth Gordon (“HORRIBLE BOSSES,” “IDENTITY THIEF”) is directing the film from a screenplay most recently written by Damian Shannon & Mark Swift and Barry Schwartz. Beau Flynn (“SAN ANDREAS,” “HERCULES”), Ivan Reitman (“GHOSTBUSTERS,” “UP IN THE AIR”), and Michael Berk, Doug Schwartz (“SOUL SURFER”) & Greg Bonann, creators of the iconic “Baywatch” television series, are producing. The executive producers are Michele Berk (“BANDITS,” “KILL THE SPARROWS”), Louise Rosner (“THE BIG SHORT, “THE HUNGER GAMES” franchise), Tom Pollock (“UP IN THE AIR,” “OLD SCHOOL”), and Ali Bell (“HITCHCOCK”). Eli Roth is a co-producer.
Baywatch opens in theaters May 19, 2017.