If Jaws is seen as the first true summer blockbuster, then director Jon Turteltaub is about to take the idea of a giant shark thriller and dial things up to 11.
We are, of course, referring to The Meg, Warner Bros.’ zany summer flick that’s aiming to become your next guilty pleasure. It has all the main ingredients, too: a gruff Jason Statham, tongue-in-cheek humor and a prehistoric shark that hails from the Early Miocene era.
But there’s one particularly stubborn beast that has somehow – almost inexplicably – defied extinction. And that’s where The Meg begins. It’s been set for a mid-August release by the Powers That Be, and though it looks like it’ll be a ton of fun for audiences, according to Statham, it was the toughest movie he’s ever made.
Speaking at a recent press conference in Shanghai over the weekend, the actor explained that it was so challenging because it was difficult to communicate while shooting scenes underwater. Not to mention that it required a ton of physical strength, endurance and patience.
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Li Bingbing, meanwhile, who co-stars, added on to what the Stath said, telling those in attendance the following:
“I’ve always been afraid of water, but one of my scenes required me to be put in a cage five or six meters underwater, and I had to hold my breath for a very long time. We had to reshoot the scene again and again and I felt like I was going to die. When they took me out of the water, the director came to compliment me, but I was too weak to speak, then he started to fear that I was really close to death.”
In addition to those two, the blockbuster also features Ruby Rose of Orange is the New Black and John Wick: Chapter 2 fame, and Heroes star Masi Oka, along with Rainn Wilson from The Office, who looks to be on comic relief duty here. It’s a strong, eclectic line-up of talent, one which will no doubt ensure we have a good time at the theater.
Angled as a loose adaptation of Steve Alten’s Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror, this deep-sea thriller has all the makings of a true guilty pleasure – picture Dwayne Johnson’s Rampage, just with one giant, impossibly large shark instead of three mutated creatures. Though we imagine Jon Turteltaub’s pic lacks the necessary star power and budget to emulate the box office success of the aforementioned actioner ($420M), it’ll still be interesting to see how The Meg fares once it darts into theaters this August. Until then, maybe it’s best you take a swimming lesson, or two.