Nine months ago, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson announced that he’d be starring in a Baywatch movie based on the popular ’90s television series about a group of California lifeguards. That project is now one step closer to hitting the beach, according to a new report indicating the Baywatch movie has found its director.
Horrible Bosses and Identity Theft filmmaker Seth Gordon is in talks to direct Baywatch, according to Variety, with Paramount Pictures reportedly planning to turn the 11-season series that rejuvenated the career of David Hasselhoff into a feature-length, “R”-rated comedy starring Johnson. If the report proves true, the studio seems to be aiming for an adaptation akin to 2012’s 21 Jump Street film, which took a raunchy, comedic approach to bringing the popular TV drama to the big screen and ended up a critical and commercial success.
A Baywatch movie has been in the works for quite a while now, with various writers, directors, and stars attached to the project over the years. The film gained some serious steam back in September 2014 when Johnson announced his involvement via Instagram.
“This is my beach bitch!” wrote Johnson in that initial announcement. “Rumors are true… we’re making #BAYWATCH the movie. Edgy, raunchy and hopefully, funny as all hell. Cue slo mo running on the beach… #WhoNeedsMouthToMouth #RedShortsBeHugginABrotha”
Johnson is set to co-produce the film as well as star in it, and Gordon’s involvement suggests that it will almost certainly be aimed at adult audiences. After gaining significant attention for his debut film, the 2007 documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, Gordon has alternated between television comedy and “R”-rated comedies — with 2011’s Horrible Bosses far exceeding expectations on its way to becoming the highest-grossing black comedy of all time (passing 1989’s The War of the Roses).
The most recent screenwriters to take a run at the Baywatch script were Damian Shannon & Mark Swift, who penned the 2009 reboot of the Friday the 13th franchise as well as 2003’s monster mash-up Freddy vs. Jason.