Back to the Future Part II predicted that by 2015 we would be up to Jaws 19 (featuring holographic advertising technology!). Sadly for fans of the franchise, the original killer shark (and its counterparts in the sequels) has lain dormant since 1987’s Jaws: The Revenge. But now, according to our sources, Universal Pictures are in early development on a remake of the original.
Presumably, this will be a broad adaptation of Peter Benchley’s 1974 novel of the same name, taking us back to the summer resort town of Amity Island and its smorgasbord of shark-bait tourists. Information on precisely what they’re planning is thin on the ground at the moment, but the hope is for Steven Spielberg to produce the film (as he said in 2015 that he’d never direct a remake).
Universal don’t have anyone to get behind the camera just yet, but they’re reportedly eyeing It‘s Andy Muschietti. I would imagine the film will be set in the modern day, too, featuring a new cast of characters to set it aside from the original, but again, we don’t have a whole lot of details on the project just yet. Given that this comes to us from the same sources though who also told us Bill Murray was returning for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, a Scream reboot is in the works and a Swamp Thing movie is in development, all of which are now confirmed, we’ve no reason to doubt it.
Whoever takes up the reins on this film is stepping into some awfully big shoes. Jaws is widely acknowledged as a cinema classic, featuring several iconic performances and sequences. On top of that, since the pic released, audiences have been fed a steady diet of shark movies, with 2018’s The Meg giving us an unbelievably huge shark vs. Jason Statham. After that (and the various Megashark B-movies), will audiences really be scared of a relatively realistic Great White Shark – albeit a very big one?
My bet is that they will. If this remake follows the original’s example, reaches beyond being just another monster film and taps into that primal fear of something horrible ready to drag you under the ocean, then it could be something very special. Here’s hoping that Universal play it classy, tense and relatively restrained with this new take on Jaws.