Jaws shark

“Bruce,” the mechanical shark which gave a young Steven Spielberg and his crew so many problems on the set of 1975’s Jaws, has found a new home.

The only surviving model of the Jaws shark was acquired by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences four years ago and fully restored to its former glory last year, and now the Academy has released a video showcasing Bruce’s transportation and installation at the soon-to-open Academy Museum in Los Angeles. The shark is so big that it wouldn’t fit in the building’s elevators, so a crew had to remove windows and use a crane to lift it into the building. Check out the video below.

Jaws Shark Finds a New Home

The entire process of installing this fearsome beast in the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures took a week and was completed on Friday, November 20. The Academy refers to this 25-foot model as “one of the most iconic objects from its permanent collection,” and promises that it will be free for the public to see when the museum opens a few months from now.

“It’s been a long journey for Bruce since he was acquired in 2016, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome him to his new home,” said Bill Kramer, Director and President of the Academy Museum. “We look forward to our opening when museum visitors can engage with our exhibitions, experience our beautiful Renzo Piano-designed building, and come face to face with one of the most iconic characters in film history.”

Here’s an official description and brief history of the model:

The monumental model is the fourth, final, and only surviving version of the shark model derived from the original Jaws mold. The creation of the infamous mechanical shark—which Spielberg is rumored to have named “Bruce” after his lawyer—was tasked to art director Joe Alves, whose original schematics depict the 25-foot long body, 400-pound head, and jaws nearly five feet wide. The three screen-used production molds cast in latex and rubber rotted and were destroyed. The Academy Museum’s version, cast in fiberglass for photo opportunities at Universal Studios Hollywood surrounding the film’s 1975 release, survived at Universal until 1990 when it found its way to Nathan Adlen’s family’s junkyard business in Sun Valley, California. In 2010, it was authenticated by Roy Arbogast, a member of the original Jaws film’s special effects crew, and in 2016, the Academy Museum acquired the shark model through a contribution by Nathan Adlen. The museum worked with special effects and make-up artist Greg Nicotero, co-founder of KNB EFX, to meticulously restore the fiberglass shark which had deteriorated from being outdoors for 25 years.

After many years of planning, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is finally set to open on April 30, 2021.

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