Well we know one thing the Baywatch movie will have in common with the 1990s TV series: impossibly good-looking people in bathing suits. After being stuck in development hell for years, the Paramount project finally gained traction when Dwayne Johnson signed on to star in the big screen adaptation. It moved another step closer to reality last month when Horrible Bosses director Seth Gordon signed on to take the helm, and now this thing has serious traction as THR reports that Zac Efron is currently in negotiations to star opposite Johnson.
This take on the project, penned by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift (Freddy vs. Jason), is said to be in the vein of the 21 Jump Street reboot (right down to the R-rating, reveals Johnson) as it revolves around a by-the-book, overly serious lifeguard (Johnson) who is forced to team up with a young hothead (Efron) in order to save the beach from environmental destruction at the hands of an oil tycoon.
While I’m dubious of anything that tries to mimic the very specific formula that made 21 Jump Street so much fun, nabbing Johnson and Efron to star in a Jump Street-esque Baywatch movie is highly promising. Johnson’s skills both as an action star and as a formidable comedic talent (as seen on his HBO series Ballers) are well established, and Efron did spectacularly well in last year’s comedy Neighbors, so he feels like a swell fit here also.
With Efron looking to sign on, Paramount is now hoping to start production on Baywatch in February 2016. The actor just wrapped the comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and is currently gearing up to start shooting Neighbors 2 with Seth Rogen also returning for the sequel. He’ll next be seen in the DJ film We Are Your Friends, which hits theaters later this month.
With the two leads now nearly set for Baywatch, I’ll be curious to see how the rest of the cast fills out.