Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron will pull on Baywatch’s famous red trunks and head for the Pacific in a big screen take on the cheesy 90s TV show, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The new version is expected to be an R-rated comedy in the vein of the 21 Jump Street films, which have proven a critical and commercial success by revisiting the long-running 80s show about police officers going undercover at US high schools. Horrible Bosses’ Seth Gordon has signed on to direct.
Johnson took to Twitter to welcome Efron to the cast and paint a picture of the new movie’s tone, which he described as “big, fun and RATED R”. The R rating is an approximate equivalent to the 15 certificate in the UK.
The film will take the form of a buddy comedy in which Johnson’s straight-laced lifeguard (Johnson) is forced to unite with a youthful rule-breaking newcomer (Efron) when the beach they both love faces destruction courtesy of the avaricious attentions of a nefarious oil tycoon.
Efron rose to fame in the High School Musical movies, but has since proven his comedy chops in 2014’s Bad Neighbours as a frat house brat who plagues the lives of a young married couple (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne). Johnson brings global megastar status to the project, having become one of the top earning stars in Hollywood in recent years thanks to the success of the Fast and Furious movies and this summer’s big budget disaster movie San Andreas.
The original Baywatch show ran for 12 years between 1989 and 2001, spawning spin-offs such as Baywatch Hawaii and Baywatch Nights. There has been talk of a movie for many years, but no film previously made it to the production stage.
It is not clear if original stars such as David Hasselhoff and Pamela Andersonwill take a role in the big screen version, but it would be no surprise to see them enjoying cameos. Johnny Depp and Richard Grieco, the original stars of 21 Jump Street, have appeared in the first and second film versions respectively.