Author Steve Alten who wrote the novel turned ultra-budget shark movie “Meg,” starring Jason Statham is excited for its release in 2018, and he tells iHorror so far it’s everything he imagined his book to be.
“Filming completed in New Zealand and China in mid-December;” Alten said. “I have not seen any footage other than what has been posted on Instagram but I understand everything looks amazing.”
There is a resurgence in popularity with sharks having an appetite for humans recently, with “The Shallows” taking a chunk the size of $119 million out of the box office last summer.
“Meg” was first published in 1997 and spawned a series of sequels. The shark is based on the factually documented prehistoric fish called a Megalodon, a huge shark capable of taking down a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
In the book, Jonas Taylor witnesses one of these creatures while on an expedition, but upon his return to shore his claims are considered fantastical since he is the only one to have survived.
Taking an interest in the sea, Taylor becomes a paleontologist and is asked to help recover a Chinese submersible at the bottom of the ocean, where coincidentally a Megalodon is also trapped, but manages to escape, making it to warmer waters and fresh meat.
Alten says he hasn’t seen any footage from the film since it wrapped, but, “it will be edge-of-your-seat scary.”
Of course, every shark movie after 1975 has some pretty big huaraches to fill, but “Meg” looks to be taking the concept to Jurassic levels.
“First and foremost,” Alten told iHorror, “this is not just a shark, it’s a Megalodon, the most fearsome predator in the history of the planet…which just happens to be a prehistoric version of a 70-foot Great White.”
“Add to that the best special effects houses in the business, a $150 million budget, great script, an international cast of top stars…led by the perfect guy to play Jonas Taylor, Jason Statham.” Alten says.
Originally Eli Roth was signed to direct “Meg,” but for reasons even the author can’t explain, Roth left the project for Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) to helm. But should there be any sequels, Alten says he’d like to see Roth bring his vision to one of them.
“I can’t say much on the Eli Roth situation other than I have great respect for Eli as a director and the decision had nothing to do with his abundant talent both behind and in front of the camera,” said Alten. Plus, he’s into sharks for all the right reasons. I am crossing my fingers that he will direct another adaptation of mine.”
Warner Bros. has taken on the distribution rights and will release the film March 2018.
As far as the film’s action-star lead working in the water-logged setting and through grueling hours of huge oceanic locations, Alten says Statham is pretty happy.
“Jason is really into the role!”