Baywatch doesn’t open in theaters until tomorrow, but the studio is feeling so optimistic about it, people are already talking publicly about the plot for a sequel. Producer Beau Flynn told Variety during a red-carpet interview, “We have an amazing story already,” adding that the plan would be to bring back the whole core cast — the Rock, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera, and Jon Bass — along with writers Damian Shannon and Mark Swift. “We just have this really cool idea to put them in this whole new world. We would take it overseas.” Although the movie is rating pretty dismally among critics, it’s tracking to bring in more than $30 million, which is about half the cost of production. Add in the international box office and Baywatch will likely land handily in the black for Paramount.
Just two years ago, the Rock had no franchises of his own, but with this and San Andreas he’s now got two. He’s joined plenty of them in progress, but never had one created to rest primarily on his very broad shoulders. Clearly, the difference for Baywatch and San Andreas isn’t a dramatic increase in the Rock’s physical size or charisma, even though both seem to have expanded. It’s his partnership with Alexandra Daddario, his co-star both on the beach and in crumbling major cities along the California coast. So there you have it. The secret weapon that the Rock has been waiting for to clinch his own big-budget franchises is young actress Alex Daddario. Hopefully she will be compensated accordingly with bonus points on the back end of the box office for bringing out the life-saving best in Hollywood’s literally biggest star.