This Friday, The Meg will open wide and swallow the undivided attention of each and every moviegoer the world over. Unfortunately, while the subaquatic fright flick will surely deliver the necessary teeth and testosterone to get your blood pumping, director Jon Turteltaub recently revealed that he was forced to pull back on the throttle.
An adaptation of the Steve Alten-penned New York Times bestselling book, Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror, the pic will see action star Jason Statham go toe-to-toe with a prehistoric super-shark. Although, should you be gearing up for the adrenaline rush brought on by the “bloody” and “disgusting” imagery typically associated with the sunken nightmare sub-genre, you might want to temper your expectations.
“I am so disappointed the film wasn’t more bloody or disgusting,” said Turteltaub. “My wife is glad about it, and I’m glad my kids can see the movie, but the number of really horrifying, disgusting and bloody deaths we had lined up that we didn’t get to do is tragic. There was some really good shit that didn’t survive to the final cut.”
Given the $150 million budget, it was a foregone conclusion that WB would want The Meg to obtain at least a PG-13 rating. Therefore, a lot of the gory grandiosity was left on the cutting room floor. Nonetheless, according to Turteltaub, the removal of some violence and viscera didn’t “wreck the story.”
“We shot or even did a lot of visual effects for [gory scenes]. We just realized there’s no way we’re keeping this PG-13 if we show this. It’s too fun a movie to not let people who don’t like blood and people who are under, say, 14 years old into the theater. I was very hesitant to cut out a lot of blood and gore. I wouldn’t have if I thought it was wrecking the story but it wasn’t. It still looked okay. I’ll sit down privately with your audience and take them through some really nasty shit.”
Don’t get too excited for an unrated Director’s Cut, though, as Turteltaub denoted that it’ll be too expensive to justify.
“The problem nowadays with those unrated DVDs is you used to have a bunch of scenes that were easy to either shoot or leave on the cutting room floor. Now to finish a scene costs millions in VFX. No one’s going to be spending millions of dollars just to have a little extra bonus footage.”
Even though there’s lots of carnage that’ll never see the light of day, don’t fret, as The Meg was still allowed to destroy plenty of other marine life.
“Oddly enough, the ratings people don’t mind chunks of whale as much as they mind chunks from a neck. Yet, it’s still right on the edge. I have to say there was a bite missing from a whale, it’s really gross, and I think it looks really cool.”
And if the trailer has you worried about Pippin the dog, fear not, for Turteltaub isn’t a complete monster.
“All I can say is anyone who knows anything about movies knows that you can kill 10,000 people, and the audience doesn’t care, but you harm one dog, and everyone writes a letter. While shooting, we went through about 15 dogs. That’s just a joke.”
As stated previously, The Meg – starring The Stath, Ruby Rose, Li Bingbing and Rainn Wilson – will be pleased to eat you this Friday.