Baywatch Movie to Further Keep Seth Gordon From a King of Kong Sequel

By  · Published on July 24th, 2015

Warner Bros.

It’s nearing a decade since Seth Gordon gave us the cult documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (an FSR favorite), and in much of that time he has promised/threatened some sort of follow-up (remake, sequel, remakquel). The closest we may ever get is today’s release of Pixels, a movie partly influenced by the doc and one he served on as an executive producer. He’s also produced some fine nonfiction films, such as 2012 Oscar winner Undefeated and the upcoming Finders Keepers, which I consider one of the best docs of this year. But as a director, he seems to be more interested in dumb studio comedies such as Four Christmases, Horrible Bosses and now Baywatch.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount is in negotiations with Gordon to bring the ’90s TV series to the big screen, finally. Dwayne Johnson is already set to star (and produce), I guess in the David Hasselhoff role, because apparently he’s not just franchise viagra but also development-hell-project viagra (see his attachment to Rampage, which might actually sound like a bad idea to Hollywood if Pixels flops). There’s also a plot involving a villainous oil tycoon and an environmental threat to the beach where Johnson’s too-serious character lifeguards. Helping him to watch the bay and thwart the big bad will be the typical contrasting young hothead partner. Hopefully that character will be a woman, but not because they need a sexy female lead in a bathing suit.

THR claims Paramount is hoping for something like 21 Jump Street with this action comedy, which sounds dumb for a variety of reasons. Never mind that this should find its own identity or the fact that nobody is going to adequately mimic the work of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller – or that it’s sad that studios are now skipping the “we need to get Lord and Miller” (because they’re unavailable for a long time) for the “we need to copy Lord and Miller” (the latest draft is by Freddy vs. Jason writers Damian Shannon and Mark Swift) – but just the very idea of aiming for meta comedy with an adaptation of a fairly serious TV show is a repeat of what Hollywood kept trying and failing for in the ’90s following isolated successes like The Addams Family and The Brady Bunch Movie. I expect Baywatch to just be this generation’s The Beverly Hillbillies.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.