Jason Statham’s 2018 blockbuster The Meg may not have been the greatest big budget movie ever released, but it delivered exactly what you’d expect from a $150 million adventure starring one of cinema’s premiere action heroes and an ensemble of recognizable character actors battling against a prehistoric creature that’s been dwelling at the bottom of the ocean for millions of years. That being said, it still comfortably ranks in the upper echelons of giant shark movies, of which Jaws will remain the one to beat for the rest of eternity, and after raking in over $530 million at the box office, it would appear that it found quite the sizeable audience.
Of course, Statham admitted before The Meg was released that if it performed well enough, sequels could possibly happen. And so, half a billion dollars later and the follow-up was officially announced in October 2018, and just last month the author of the novel revealed that the script was finished and even had a title. Now, The Meg 2: The Trench has moved one step closer to getting into production with the incredibly out of left field but hugely exciting news that Ben Wheatley has signed on to direct.
Wheatley’s latest, Rebecca, is currently one of the most popular movies on Netflix, while the filmmaker is best known for psychological thrillers Kill List and High-Rise, although his recent effort Free Fire seemed to signal a shift towards a more overtly commercial direction, and even then it was a pitch black and violent comic crime caper.
An effects-heavy blockbuster like The Meg 2 marks a huge step up for him in terms of scale, and the budget is likely to be at least twice as expensive as all of his previous movies put together. Still, one of the major criticisms of the first installment was Jon Turteltaub’s workmanlike and uninspired direction, which is definitely something that you aren’t likely to see from Ben Wheatley.