Darren Aronofsky is Making a Show About Corrupt Lifeguards, Proving He Can Make ‘Baywatch’ Depressing

     August 5, 2020

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Darren Aronofsky and his production company Protozoa Pictures have just secured the rights to adapt David Gauvey Herbert’s New York Magazine article “Boss of The Beach” into a series with Searchlight Television. Herbert’s article chronicles the history of the New York City lifeguard corps over the past four decades, with a specific focus on the corps’ controversial leader Peter Stein.

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Image via Paramount Pictures

As reported by Deadline, the decorated filmmaker secured the rights after an intense bidding war, which is doubly remarkable considering Herbert’s article was published in New York Magazine’s Intelligencer just five weeks ago. It’s a sprawling deep-dive into the myriad levels of corruption and debauchery Stein oversaw, including actual cocaine parties thrown by Coney Island lifeguards and guards regularly getting openly drunk on duty. To be honest, it’s the exact logline you would picture after hearing the phrase “Darren Aronofsky’s Baywatch.”

Obviously, further details are pretty limited at this early stage. Searchlight and Protozoa are currently looking for a writer to adapt the article, with Herbert on board as an executive producer. So it’s still a long road ahead for the series, although it’s definitely one I’ll be paying attention to, as true crime exposes on extremely specific areas of local government are strangely fascinating to me. And while my ideal vision of Darren Aronofsky’s Baywatch would feature a character blowing a quad during the signature slow-motion running sequence and subsequently developing an agonizing pill addiction, this version sounds plenty interesting too. For more on Aronofosky, check out our ranking of the director’s films and read up on his upcoming Stephen King adaptation.

Television