The key to reviving ’90s nostalgia movies appears to be a healthy helping of humorous self-awareness, which is apparently why the makers of the Baywatch reboot movie have thus far focused on casting handsome stars with serious comedy chops like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Zach Efron, despite the property having been best known in its heyday for a focus on shapely actresses (though the film is sure to have that, too). But having some of the original magic can’t hurt either, which is why the film has also recruited original series star David Hasselhoff to appear as well. Now, new behind the scene images show The Hoff hanging with the next generation cast as the film continues production.
The original Baywatch ran for one unsuccessful season on traditional network television, where it was met with middling reviews and a distinct lack of interest from prime time viewers. But when it was revived for syndication and (frequently) broadcast during daytime hours it became a gargantuan smash hit (at one point the highest-rated series in the world) – thanks largely to the popularity of the series’ female castmembers with a generation of teenage boys, whose loyal viewership turned the likes of Pamela Anderson into international superstars.
Broadcast in a weekly episodic format, the premise followed the work and personal lives of a team of lifeguards whose day to day duties of keeping beachgoers safe were frequently interrupted by relationship drama and work complications ranging from criminal activities like smugglers and gang violence to kidnappings and shark attacks. The series became more outlandish as it progressed, with later seasons featuring storylines about terrorism and several encounters with (literal) sea monsters.
You can check out images of The Hoff” on the set of Horrible Bosses and Identity Thief director Seth Gordon’s Baywatch movie reboot (along his costars, including “The Rock” and Efron), below:
Which is Mitch? great fun with The Rock and me ...great guy Baywatch is gonna Rock and Zac!! pic.twitter.com/DY5kEardou— David Hasselhoff (@DavidHasselhoff) March 23, 2016
The new version will take a hard-R comedy approach to the same material, and is expected to satirize the original series while also serving as a comedy vehicle for the new stars. Johnson is taking over Hasselhoff’s lead role as Mitch Buchannon, a no-nonsense lifeguard captain leading a team comprised of Efron as Matt Brody, Alexandra Daddario as Summer (Nicole Eggert in the original series) and Kelly Rohrbach as C.J. Parker – the role that propelled Pamela Anderson to stardom. The film’s storyline is said to pit the lifeguards against an unscrupulous oil billionaire and a conspiracy to destroy the beach itself, with Quantico‘s Priyanka Chopra as one of the villains. It’s unknown what role Hasselhoff is playing in the new version.
Efron will next be seen reprising his role as a onetime charismatic fraternity leader opposite Seth Rogen in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. Johnson continues to have a full acting slate lined up, with the action-comedy Central Intelligence coming soon and a co-starring voice role in Disney’s animated feature Moana currently in development. He’s also expected to soon begin work of Fast & Furious 8 and the arcade game adaptation Rampage for a 2017 theatrical release.
Baywatch opens in U.S. theaters on May 19, 2017.