The upcoming Baywatch movie is already toting the combined pecs of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Zac Efron, but now it needs some ladies to even out this sausage fest. As Paramount Pictures continues to bulk up its cast of slo-mo running actors, a shortlist of actresses has emerged for who could play the female lead.
According to Deadline, there are seven on this shortlist: Alexandra Daddario (True Detective), Ashley Benson (Pretty Little Liars), Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries), Alexandra Shipp (X-Men: Apocalypse), Shelly Hennig (Teen Wolf), Bianca Santos (The Duff), and Denyse Tontz (Big Time Rush). The trade notes that, while these ladies are vying for the female lead, any number of them could end up playing other roles in the film, or the studio could expand its search.
Someone like Shipp could up the diversity factor on the traditionally white-washed property, and she certainly has the bubbly, vibrant personality for a film of this nature. However, Daddario has been looking for her next big project following the Percy Jackson films and her standout True Detective role opposite Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey. Plus, she already logged screen time with Johnson in San Andreas.
Benson, meanwhile, has experience going crazy in a swimsuit, thanks to her turn in Spring Breakers, while Dobrev needs a new gig after departing the hit CW vamper series, The Vampire Diaries. The other names are relatively unknown to mainstream audiences, should Paramount want to bring a newer face to the leading role.
Seth Gordon is directing the film, which sees Johnson as a rule-abiding lifeguard who teams up with Efron’s more reckless beach boy to stop an oil tycoon from destroying their beach. The film will be rated R and is said to be more aligned with a 21 Jump Street-style recreation instead of the original show’s sensibilities. We’ll know more about the casting, since production is scheduled to commence early next year.