jaws shark restored

You’re going to need a bigger museum exhibit for a newly restored mold of the Jaws shark. A mold of the mechanical sharks used in Steven Spielberg classic horror movie is fully restored and ready for its place at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. But don’t expect to stare into the gaping jaws of “Bruce” in person anytime soon — the Academy Museum, which was announced back in 2012, won’t be opening any time prior to the 92nd Oscars in February 2020.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures announced on Thursday that one of only four fiberglass molds made from the mold of the original shark used in Jaws has been “fully transformed” in its restoration, with only eyes and teeth waiting to be added, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Just in time for the 44th anniversary of [Jaws] 1975 … An update on Bruce the shark’s restoration! Special effects legend [Greg Nicotero], his studio KNB EFX, and the [Academy Museum] conservation team have fully transformed this undersea giant,” the Academy museum tweeted.

The shark, nicknamed “Bruce,” is fiberglass model built for Universal Studios based on the shark prop from Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic monster movie that saw a New England tourist town terrorized by a bloodthirsty predator. The original mechanical sharks have gone down in movie trivia history as being the unwitting reason for Jaws‘ unique and effective horror techniques — because they were constantly malfunctioning, Spielberg was forced to keep the sharks mostly out of sight, upping the film’s dread. Jaws went on to become a blockbuster smash hit and is now a cinema classic with dozens of films aping Spielberg’s accidental horror technique.

The shark prop was given to the Museum by Nathan Adlen, whose father acquired the prop after the studio had scrapped it, hanging in a scrapyard from 1975 to 1990 until its donation to the Academy in 2016. The restored shark is a fiberglass model and the fourth and final version to be made from the original mold, the museum told THR.

But despite the hoopla around the shark’s restoration, no fans will be able to see it in person until the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opens at an unspecified date. The Museum announced that it would not open in 2019 or anytime prior to the Oscars ceremony on February 9, 2020.

“As we continue working through the permitting process and move closer to completion, we are weighing the overall schedule for major industry events in 2020, and on this basis will choose the optimal moment for our official opening,” an Academy Museum spokesperson said in a statement.

So we’ll have to wait a good year at least before we can stare into the gaping maw of death.

Correction: This article incorrectly referred to the restored shark mold as one of the original props used on the film.

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