Baywatch Narrows Search For Female Lead; Ashley Benson, Alexandra Daddario And More In Contention


Paramount’s big-screen overhaul for Baywatch is beginning to pick up momentum once again, now that Deadline has revealed that a total of seven actresses are in the running – slow motion running, that is – for the lead female role.

Casting the net far and wide, the shortlist includes an array of talent from across film and television, with Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson, Alexandra Daddario – possibly paving the way for a San Andreas reunion with Dwayne Johnson – and X-Men: Apocalypse breakout Alexandra Shipp all in the studio’s crosshairs. Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries), Shelley Hennig (Unfriended), Bianca Santos (Ouija) and Denyse Tontz (Big Time Rush) complete the stellar list of potential candidates.

Pitched in the vein of Sony’s delightfully over-the-top reboot of the Jump Street series, Paramount’s Baywatch currently boasts Dwayne Johnson and We Are Your Friends‘ Zac Efron in leading roles, whereas Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) will assume directing duties on the other side of the camera. Firmly pressing the hard reset button, the filmmaker’s pitch for Baywatch will ditch the camp and zany tone of the original TV show in favor of a much more riotous sense of fun.

Damian Shannon & Mark Swift penned the latest script draft, which sees Johnson and Efron’s nominal characters butt heads as two Californian lifeguards; the former being a seasoned veteran of the beaches, while the latter enters the fray as a care-free daredevil who is still wet behind the ears. It’s unclear how the lead actress will filter into the plot, though we assume that Paramount will sit on the finer details of the story until casting one of the aforementioned candidates.

Boasting an R-rating, Paramount’s Baywatch overhaul is set to hope from one medium to another when the cameras begin rolling on Gordon’s action-comedy in early 2016 – just as soon as the studio settles on an actress to topline the feature, that is.