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Will We Ever See A Baywatch 2?

Baywatch, in its original incarnation as a TV series, was a certifiable cultural force. It may not have been a hit with critics, but its hallmarks, like its iconic cast's red uniforms and its slow-motion running montages, remain visual touchstones even in today's popular culture. So, when it was announced that Baywatch would serve as the source material for a tongue-in-cheek movie adaptation starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Zac Efron, the idea, while risky, had footing firmly in the cultural zeitgeist. The Phil Lord- and Christopher Miller-directed 21 Jump Street before it had even set a blueprint for a successful comedy movie adaptation of an old TV series.

Upon its release, however, the movie version of Baywatch was a flop. Its raunchy sense of humor, while likely intended to spice up its outdated source material, was received by critics, rather, as uninspired. Reviews and box office numbers alike were reflective of an unsatisfactory performance for a Dwayne Johnson- and Zac Efron-led vehicle. In fact, in a recent poll, voters determined Baywatch to be Johnson's worst movie of his career.

For those hoping for a sequel, then, its poor performance and legacy as a low point in Johnson's filmography remain unencouraging. That said, a sequel isn't entirely outside the realm of possibility.

A Baywatch sequel is unlikely but not impossible

Word of a Baywatch sequel dates all the way back to just after the first movie's release. Beau Flynn, who produced the film, outlined some details about a planned sequel in an interview with Variety. Some of the writers had already begun working on a story, and it appeared that deals were even in the works with some of the film's stars. Flynn explained that the sequel would see the central cast in an overseas location. That was, however, the last statement made publicly about a Baywatch 2. While never quite stated outright, the first film's underwhelming critical and financial performance is the most likely culprit for its forestalling.

Judging from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's filmography alone, Baywatch 2 is nowhere near a priority for the performer. Currently, Johnson has seven films in the works, both in pre- and post-production. This would suggest that he's locked down for the foreseeable future.

All hope is not lost, however. Some fans remember Baywatch as maybe not a great film but better than what was described in the reviews that accompanied its release. Johnson himself spoke in positive terms about Baywatch as well, focusing on a positive reception among some of its viewers. While money and the lack of it made by the first film is the biggest hindrance to Baywatch 2, the original movie has its share of fans, including Johnson. If a sequel is ever to be made, it will likely have to be a result of their enthusiasm overcoming what might otherwise be a significant box office risk.