Tom Lennon and his writing partner Ben Garant have built a pretty good career as screenwriters, either doing the heavy lifting on some projects or just coming in and doing some script doctoring or punch up work on others. Last year saw them release their book about working in Hollywood Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too! and this year will see them expand their careers in another way – as directors.
Their debut feature, the indie horror-comedy Hellbaby, is set to premier at Sundance in a few weeks. But the duo are already working in their next feature, a big screen adaptation of classic cheesy swimsuits and lifeguards series Baywatch for Paramount Pictures.
In the recent 300th episode of the Nerdist podcast, Lennon elaborated to host Chris Hardwick about the project –
The script is actually called Babywatch: Red Tide. We wanted to say two things which is one, we’re taking this deadly, deadly seriously and two, we’re going to make eight of these. They’re actually so amped up on that we already shot a teaser for it… This is definitely a big studio movie, but hopefully it is a smaller, smarter version of a big studio movie than some of the big studio movies we’ve done.
Lennon also hinted that the film would be more of an action-comedy, with a tone similar to the 2004 Starsky & Hutch movie he and Garant did some uncredited work on.
And don’t think that the cast from the original series will be ignored in this new iteration.
Hasselfoff has a brief appearance in the script right now. And Pam and a couple of them.
Lennon also mentioned that he and Garant have a second indie film already set to shoot later this year titled Backwater. I would suggest downloading the entire episode, though, as Lennon is not only a funny but oft times a somewhat insightful interviewee. Plus, the story of his two meetings with Tom Cruise are well worth hearing.