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In his time as a movie star, Dwayne Johnson has brought a special spark to a number of different brands, from G.I. Joe to Fast & Furious, earning him the affectionate industry nickname "Franchise Viagra." Now he's ready to bring his special brand of charisma to a new franchise, as signs points to him strapping on a pair of short red trunks to star in the upcoming Baywatch movie.
Hollywood has been trying to pump out a Baywatch film for more than five years, but only now does it look like it could actually happen. The Hollywood Reporter says that Dwayne Johnson is now "loosely attached" to the project - which is set up over at Paramount - and notes that screenwriter Justin Malen has been brought in to work on the script. Sean Anders and John Morris, who recently wrote the screenplay for the 2013 pot comedy We're The Millers, are currently lined up to direct the film.
The Baywatch movie has gone through the hands of many writers over the years, and Dwayne Johnson isn't even the first actor we've heard about potentially starring in the project. Originally it was Jeremy Garelick - the screenwriter behind The Break-Up - who was hired to pen the movie as a comedy; and since then we've heard about writers like Brian Gatewood & Alessandro Tanaka (The Sitter) and Peter Tolan (Rescue Me) taking a crack at the script. Last year we heard reports that The Skeleton Twins star Bill Hader was being considered for the David Hasselhoff-esque role in the movie, but that was at a time when Reno 911!'s Robert Ben Garant was attached to helm.
The new screenwriter, Justin Malen, doesn't exactly have a ton of credits on his resume, but he is definitely considered an up and comer in the industry. He first caught attention in 2011 when his script Bastards wound up making The Blacklist (the annual list of the most popular unproduced screenplays in Hollywood), and that project is now moving towards starting production in March of next year (with Jason Sudeikis and Ed Helms attached to star). He is also currently working with Sony on a script for Bad Teacher 2 - a sequel to the successful 2011 comedy starring Cameron Diaz.
It's hard to say where Baywatch could fall on Dwayne Johnson's schedule, as the A-lister has been pretty damn busy as of late. Perhaps his biggest in-development title is Warner Bros.' in-development Shazam movie, which will feature the former wrestler playing the villain/anti-hero known as Black Adam. The star was most recently in theaters this past summer in Brett Ratner's Hercules, and will be hitting 2015 with the double dose that is Fast & Furious 7 and the earthquake disaster movie San Andreas.