The studio behind the forthcoming Baywatch reboot have kept their cards close to their chest thus far regarding plot and character details. However, rumors have begun to swirl regarding the backstory behind one of the movie's main characters, Matt Brody, played by Zac Efron of High School Musical and Neighbors 1 & 2 fame.
In the original TV series, Brody's character was something of a ladies' man, romancing the beach's resident females, including C.J. Parker (as played by Pamela Anderson). His main story arc involved being wrongly accused of sexual harassment and although he was eventually vindicated, the character floated in and out of the cast and eventually vanished with little explanation or fanfare. It seems, however, that Efron's incarnation of the character could be a considerably different entity.
According to The Wrap, a source closely attached to the project claims that the new Matt Brody will be a double gold medal-winning Olympic swimmer whose career goes down the toilet after he gets on the wrong side of the law. As community service, Brody joins the lifeguard team and sets about repairing his public image and serving his time, although not before clashing with the Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's head lifeguard character. The rumors give no indication as to what crime Efron's Brody may have committed, so the sexual harassment storyline could be recycled - although logic suggests the studio may want to avoid such subject matter, in favor of lighter topics.
If Matt Brody's new backstory sounds a touch familiar, that may be because in an odd case of art potentially imitating life; namely, the plot shares a few parallels with the recent antics of real-life United States Olympic swimmer, Ryan Lochte. Whilst competing at the Rio Olympics this summer, Lochte and some fellow athletes claimed to have been victims in an armed robbery whilst driving. However, after further investigation, it was revealed that the swimmer had drunkenly vandalized a gas station and the 'thieves' were actually demanding money to repair the damage caused. Although Lochte hasn't been made to serve community service as a lifeguard on a California beach just yet, he has lost the majority of his sponsors and much of his credibility.
Seeing as Baywatch finished filming back in June, around two months before Lochte-gate, any possible similarities will of course be entirely incidental and for once, that "all similarities to real life persons or events are unintentional" message at the end of every movie's credits may actually prove useful. Having said that, maybe whoever predicted Donald Trump running for president and the FIFA corruption scandal on The Simpsons now has a job at Paramount?
Baywatch is out in U.S. theaters on May 19th, 2017
Source: The Wrap