Richard Dreyfuss Wants To See A CGI-Enhanced Re-Release Of Jaws


Richard Dreyfuss might be a universally respected actor who’s starred in some truly excellent movies, but when he’s wrong boy is he wrong.

In an interview with Deadline, he discussed Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic Jaws, in which he stars as marine biologist Matt Hooper. Of course, Jaws is an incredible film – exciting and tense, cinematically beautiful, wonderfully performed and boasts one of the finest scores John Williams ever produced. But, Dreyfuss argues, wouldn’t it be just that little bit better if they updated the movie to replace the shark with a CGI version?

“There are people who say Jaws is a perfect film otherwise and it is amazing what Steven accomplished with the challenges he had. But… they should put the money in to CGI that beast and make it come alive. I think they should do it, it would be huge and it would open up the film to younger people. Is that blasphemy? No, no, I don’t think so. The technology now could make the shark look as good as the rest of the movie.”

Well, actually Richard, that kind of is blasphemy. Sure, there are a couple of shots in the movie where the model shark doesn’t look entirely realistic, but I thought we’d gotten over the unfortunate trend of going back to classic movies and gussying them up with unnecessary CGI additions?


I mean, have you watched the Special Edition of Star Wars: A New Hope recently? Lucas’ hideous CGI Jabba stands out a mile. Spielberg’s own contribution, meanwhile, which was adding CGI elements to a release of E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial (including replacing the guns with walkie-talkies) went down like a bucket of cold puke. Even the director himself admits it was a mistake, saying to Screen Rant earlier this year:

“When E.T. was re-released, I actually digitized 5 shots where E.T. went from being a puppet to a digital puppet and I also replaced the gun when the F.B.I. runs up on the van, now they walkie talkies. So there’s a really bad version of E.T. where I took my cue from Star Wars and all of the digital enhancements of A New Hope that George put in, and I went ahead, because the marketing at Universal thought we need something to get an audience back and see the movie so I did a few touch up in the film; in those days, social media wasn’t as profound as it is today but what was just beginning, you know, erupted a loud, negative voice about how could you ruin our favorite childhood film by taking the guns away and putting walkie-talkies in their hands among other things.”

Fortunately, it sounds like Dreyfuss’ demented plans to mess with Jaws will remain confined to his fevered imagination, as Spielberg also said the following:

“So I learned a big lesson and that’s the last time I decided to ever mess with the past. What’s done is done… I’ll never go back.”

And damn right, too!

About the author

David James

David James

London-based writer about everything and anything. Willing to crawl over rusty nails to write about Metal Gear Solid or Resident Evil.