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The time to do a Baywatch movie, if a Baywatch movie absolutely had to be done, was probably 1989-91, when the red-suited lifeguards were in their prime and audiences camped out in front of television sets to see Pamela Anderson, David Hasselhoff and Yasmine Bleeth running. In slow motion. For hours.
Twenty years later, Hollywood is still trying to mount a proper Baywatch feature, and writer Peter Tolan may be the one riding to the franchise’s rescue. Now that his time on Denis Leary’s firefighter drama Rescue Me has drawn to a close (the show had its series finale earlier this month), Tolan tells the Matthew Aaron Show podcast (via JoBlo) that he recently turned a Baywatch script in to Paramount.
Oddly enough, Tolan says his script has very little to do with the original TV show, which he did not watch in preparation for writing the treatment. He said the tone of the script he wrote is closest to Ivan Reitman’s Stripes, and that there are parts written into the screenplay for Hasselhoff and Anderson, though they would not be playing the characters they played in the show.
That’s a headscratcher. With so many changes, why call it Baywatch at all? Is the brand recognition that strong that you wouldn’t just launch another lifeguard-themed project and hope it could stand on its own? Then again, reboots of TV shows have fared well, but primarily when they’ve held at least a tiny connection to the source material. As for Anderson, she has said repeatedly that she’s against a Baywatch movie. But if you promise Hasselhoff a hamburger, some camera time, and the chance to record the film’s theme song, I’m sure he’s in.