What We Know: Baywatch (2017)


By Jaclyn Cascio (@jaclynator)
While Game of Thrones promises ice and snow with boots and furs, Baywatch promises us, “Summer is coming,” with warm sun and sand, beach bodies and bikinis. This May, Paramount Pictures will bring the heat with a film that won’t exactly be the family friendly prime time show you may remember.
Baywatch premiered on television on NBC in 1989. It was cancelled after the first season, but was brought back in 1991, where it then stayed on television for 10 years. It’s been a while, but the iconic slo-mo of Baywatch is back once again, although this time in the theaters. With an R rating and assurances that the film will be raunchier and dirtier than the show, this is probably not the fun flick to take the kids to. Check out a trailer for yourself and you’ll see that Baywatch may pay homage to the past, but it’s a whole new beach ball game they’re playing this time around!

Baywatch has been in the making for a few years. In September 2012, Reno 911!’s Robert Ben Garant was announced to direct the movie. By October 2014 Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was attached to the project (as an actor and producer) and the script had a rewrite. By July 2015, Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) took over the director’s chair and casting continued into early 2016. Principal photography of the screenplay by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift began in February 2016 in Miami, FL and Savannah, GA, wrapping in May.
The story of Baywatch (by Jay Scherick, David Ronn, Thomas Lennon, and Robert Ben Garant) pairs up gung-ho lead lifeguard, Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson), with washed-up former Olympian, Matt Brody (Zac Efron), in an effort to revamp the “brand” of the lifeguard team. When a drug trafficking operation led by Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra) sets up shop on the beach, the mismatched lifeguards and the team must work together to keep their bay safe! The action comedy is set to keep the audience on the edge of their seats, with anticipation or laughter (we can’t be sure)! No matter what, expect the gratuitous slo-mo, with both the ladies and the men slowly running up the beach. Director Seth Gordon promised during production, “You will have a lot of (male) slo-mo. It’s 2016!” (Let’s be honest, everyone wants quality time watching Dwayne Johnson.)
If the names Buchannon and Brody sound familiar, you’re right! The new Baywatch film is full of old names, but new faces. Buchannon is now played by Dwayne Johnson, but the titular character was originally played by the infamous David Hasselhoff. (Bonus: The Hoff will be back for a cameo on the new film!) Brody, now played by Zac Efron, was once a role held by David Charvet. Summer Quinn, the tough surfer love interest of Brody was once played by Nicole Eggert, but Alexandra Daddario has taken over the role. Mitch Buchannon’s romantic interest Stephanie Holden was once the role of Alexandra Paul but Ilfenesh Hadera is the new face for Baywatch. Lastly, no one can forget CJ Parker, the role originally made memorable by busty blonde, Pamela Anderson. Kelly Rohrbach has taken on the mantle of Parker in the new movie, while Anderson will also be making a cameo somewhere in Baywatch.
Other cast members include Jon Bass as Ronnie (a funny and awkward disco dancer in love with Parker), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Garner Ellerbee (a cool cop who reminds the lifeguards that the police are the authorities when trouble breaks loose), Rob Huebel as Captain Thorpe, Hannibal Buress as Gary (a bay community local), Belinda Peregrin as Carmen, Amin Joseph as Frankie, Jack Kesy, Izabel Goulart, and Brie Angelina.
Produced by Ivan Reitman, Tom Pollock, Beau Flynn, Dwayne Johnson, Michael Berk, Dany Garcia, Douglas Schwartz, and Gregory J. Bonann, Baywatch was originally scheduled for release on May 19 of this year. After Alien: Covenant moved up their premiere, Baywatch was officially pushed back for a May 25, 2017 release in theaters. That’s right! In less than a month, those long legs and rock-hard abs will appear on screens all over America. While you count down, don’t forget to follow the film’s official Twitter account (@baywatchmovie)! Are you excited to see the revamp of Baywatch this year?

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