Zac Efron Will Join Dwayne Johnson in the ‘Baywatch’ Movie
In 50 years, when some great journalist sits down to write the comprehensive biography of Zac Efron, the success of Neighbors will earn a special chapter. After all, that film was where Efron stopped being a fresh-faced, kid-friendly Disney star and started being a genuinely charming screen presence with some fairly serious comic chops. The future beyond that looks cloudy, so we don’t know if his decision to join the Baywatch movie will be viewed by future historians as a mistake or a surprisingly canny decision.
Yes, the big screen version of the well-known (but not especially well-liked) ’90s television series that further cemented David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson as a future C-list celebrities is not a thing you dreamt. It’s happening. And Efron will co-star alongside Dwayne Johnson, which is a combination of talent that allows us to think about a Baywatch movie and not feel totally bummed out by its very existence.
The Hollywood Reporter has the details. Efron will play the young life guard who doesn’t play by the rules. Johnson will play the older lifeguard who lives by the rules. Naturally, the two of them are forced to team up to save their beach from environmental mayhem at the hands of an evil oil company. Horrible Bosses director Seth Gordon will sit behind the camera and the whole thing is apparently being described as 21 Jump Street-eque. Here’s The Rock himself, tweeting about the news:
This is our chance to remind you that 21 Jump Street and its sequel are both cinematic miracles that took a lousy TV series, deconstructed it, and molded all of the disparate parts into brilliant comedy. This sounds like a reasonable approach for Baywatch, which was always more famous than it was good. Everyone knows the title and the iconography (attractive people running in slow motion!), but few people actually care about it. Using it as comedy fodder is the best possible approach. The chances of it being half as good as 21 Jump Street are slim, but hey, at least everyone’s heart seems to be in the right place.
Efron has kept busy since Neighbors, filming the DJ movie We Are Your Friends, and the comedies Dirty Grandpa and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. He’ll also be back for Neighbors 2, which should get started before Baywatch. We’ve got to hand it to him: he’s certainly taking advantage of our newfound interest in watching him act in proper movies. A Baywatch movie tests our nerves something fierce, but who are we to say no to him and The Rock?