Along the crystal clear beaches of Santa Monica, there is only one team of bronze skinned lifeguards crazy enough to save the day and discuss their deeply personal issues with one another. Baywatch, the series that made David Hasselhof a star and eventual Internet meme, is getting a film reboot. Directed by comedy writing team Sean Anders and John Morris (We’re the Millers, Horrible Bosses 2), and written by Justin Malen (The Good Wife), the film’s cast will be led by Dwayne Johnson.
While probably unknown to most (myself included), Paramount Pictures has long been trying to make a Baywatch feature film. Looking to grab a leading man with comedic sensibilities and biceps powerful enough to crush watermelons, the choice of Johnson seems to be a perfect fit. Johnson himself has expressed his excitement on landing the role and even confirmed the casting via his Twitter. The former wrestler and soon to be supervillain in Shazam added on his Instagram account that he hopes the film will “be funny as hell,” and feature plenty of slow-motion beach running shots.
Though I am a child of the 90s, my knowledge of Baywatch is limited, but I imagine during its airing, America took David Hasselhof seriously as an actor. Despite my ignorance, I’ve learned that the immensly popular show ran for a decade, and spawned numerous, though not nearly as successful, spin-offs. Billing itself as an action drama series, Baywatch followed the lives of the blondest lifeguards in California, and the mundane day-to-day routines of the job. Episodes frequently focused on shark attacks, drownings, earthquakes, murders, serial killers and threats of nuclear disaster. You know, the typical tasks one associates with being a lifeguard.
Okay, a Baywatch film could work if they follow the same formula that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller implemented for 21 Jump Street and its sequel. Playing up the ridiculousness of the original television show, and mocking the egos of the self-obsessed lifeguards could prove amusing if handled correctly. However, attempting to copy that formula might be more difficult than one could expect.
Paramount’s decision to get Anders and Morris can be viewed as a blessing, and a curse. The writing/directing team was behind the screenplay for the critically underrated comedy Hot Tub Time Machine. On the darker side of things, they’re also responsible for films like Sex Drive and That’s My Boy. Hopefully, Horrible Bosses 2, their next upcoming directorial release, and Baywatch will be more in line with their work on Hot Tub Time Machine.