Syfy’s cult phenomena Sharknado unleashes its third installment this summer, and continuing its legacy of keeping the casting campy, Baywatch and Knight Rider actor David Hasselhoff joins the cast, according to a Syfy press release. He’ll play Gilbert Shepherd, the father of recurring leading man Fin (Ian Zierring.)
In Sharknado 3, Hasselhoff gets to play husband to a famous beach babe from back in the day. No, not Baywatch co-star Pamela Anderson, but the woman who made cornrow hairstyles all the rage back in 1979, Bo Derek.
That’s just the tip of the Sharknado 3 casting. Tara Reid returns as the recurring heroine, April, but there are plenty of new cameos coming up. Mark Cuban will guest star as the President of the United States with Vice President Ann Coulter, which many fans would argue is far more terrifying than hordes of sharks flung inland by tornadoes. Jerry Springer makes a Sharknado 3 cameo as a manic tourist, Chris Kirkpatrick of NSYNC plays a pool lifeguard, and Chris Jericho operates a rollercoaster ride. CBS News reported that former congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has even filmed a cameo for the film.
The cast of Sharknado 3 also includes Cassie Scerbo (Nova), Ryan Newman as April and Fin’s daughter Claudia, and Jack Griffo as Claudia’s friend, Billy. Anthony C. Ferrante helms the director’s chair again, and the original screenplay was penned by Thunder Levin.
For this installment of the Sharknado franchise, sharks terrorize Washington, D.C. before traveling down the eastern seaboard into Florida. The original film unleashed sharks on Los Angeles as a tornado sucked up hundreds of sharks and brought them inland, along with half the ocean apparently, so they would have water to swim in while they wreaked havoc. Then Sharknado 2 brought tornadoes full of sharks to New York City.
Syfy has a long history of making original movies, with tongue firmly planted in cheek. But when the original Sharknado aired back in July 2013, it created a Twitter media feeding frenzy, with even celebrities such as Mia Farrow chiming in about the over-the-top silliness as she watched.
Sharknado became Syfy’s most watched original movie in its history, at least until the release of Sharknado 2: The Second One July 2014. Sharknado 3 will debut this July, as long as shooting stays on track. The original production crew has walked off while filming in Washington, D.C. to unionize.
Sharknado 2 was made under an IATSE contract, but Paul Bales, COO of production house The Asylum, minced no words about why the film moved forward this time without a union contract, according to the NY Daily News.
“It is true that Sharknado 2 was made under an IATSE contract, however, dealing with the New York City locals was the worst experience we’ve had in making over 200 movies. After all of the manipulation and bullying, inefficiency, overcharging, lying and featherbedding, we had absolutely no desire to repeat this experience on Sharknado 3.”
IATSE has been picketing filming locations, causing the original production crew walk out, although Sharknado 3 has brought in replacement crew to keep filming.