‘The Meg’ First Look: Jason Statham vs. Shark

The Meg

Steve Alten‘s 1997 novel Meg finally makes its way to the big screen with The Meg, a new shark-tastic film from National Treasure director Jon Turteltaub. Jason Statham stars as a former Navy diver who gets hired to rescue a scientists trapped in an underwater research facility. There’s just one problem: a giant prehistoric shark wants to make a meal out of Statham and company. And now we have our first look at the film.

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meg first look

A film adaptation of Steve Alten’s 1997 prehistoric killer shark book Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror has been on and off the table for the better part of two decades now. If you journey into the /Film archives, you’ll find a 2007 post about how New Line was killing their version after years of failed development. From there, the film continued to wade through murky development hell, with various directors coming and going. Finally, earlier this year, National Treasure‘s Jon Turteltaub climbed on board, Jason Statham signed on to star, and some Chinese financing made the whole project feel like less of a risk for Warner Bros.

Now, the first image from Meg has arrived, an image that stands in defiance to both God and man. This movie has officially been willed into existence.

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Meg Concept art

It looks like Meg may have finally crawled its way out of development hell. An adaptation of Steve Alten‘s Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror has been in the works for a long time now, but the budget, time and time again, has proved to be an issue. In 2007, millions of dollars were spent on Jan de Bont‘s (Speed) version of the project before New Line pulled the plug. Eli Roth recently ran into similar issues on Meg. After Roth had exited the project, Jon Turteltaub took over the film.

Once The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Cool Runnings director became attached to the adaptation, things began to look up for Meg, which landed the all-powerful Jason Statham and superstar Fan Bingbing (X-Men Days of Future Past) as its two leads.

Learn more about the Jason Statham shark movie below.

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jason statham meg

Steve Alten‘s Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror was first published in 1997 and the film adaptation has been in development for almost as long. Every few years, someone commits to a film adaptation of this tale of Man versus Giant Prehistoric Killer Shark and every few years, the whole thing falls apart. Now, nearly twenty years after the initial plans to make this movie, a new batch of names have become associated with the project.

Carcharodon megalodon, meet Jason Statham. Jason Statham, meet Carcharodon megalodon.

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Meg Director

An adaptation of Meg (short for “megalodon”) has been in the works for almost 20 years. Back in 2007, director Jan de Bont (Speed) was attached to the a version produced by Guillermo del Toro (Crimson Peak), but after two and a half years of production and millions of dollars spent, New Line pulled the plug.

The killer shark movie has seen signs of life over the years. Eli Roth (Knock Knock) recently signed on to direct Meg, but after being attached for less than a year, he’s dropped out. Now, the director of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Cool RunningsJon Turteltaub, is Roth’s potential replacement.

Learn more about Meg below.

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Meg movie

It’s been lurking in the waters of Hollywood for almost a decade, the monster movie Meg may be resurfacing once again.

Meg is a killer shark story based on a 1997 book written by Steve Allen that has been at multiple studios over the past decade, with many of different names on board. The project had been thought dormant for a good long while, but now a script by Dean Georgaris reportedly has Warner Bros. excited by the monster movie. In fact, the studio is currently in talks with Eli Roth to helm what it hopes could be a new franchise. Read more about the Meg movie below. Read More »


“Tonight, we’ll grill some tuna, have a lil’ vino, some kissy kissy, it’ll be great!”


In my opinion, MEG has maintained dibbs on “Award for Best Boner Shorts Concept Art” for a few years running. The 80-foot prehistoric pissed off shark movie–think death metal to Jaws‘s hep jazz–needs to happen no matter what. Recently, The L.A. Times published an update about the feature adaptation of author Steve Alten‘s 1997 page turner, that also rewinds MEG‘s stint in Hollywood production hell.

The good? We still have the concept art. The pretty good? The film has a solid new financier, Appelles Publishing Inc. in Virginia, with three producers, including Watchmen producers Lloyd Levin and Lawrence Gordon, now riding the wave (the one with the 70,000 pound shark in it). This may finally happen! The bad? It’s MEG, a pricey fever dream even for an American blockbuster. The ugly? The fourth MEG book (due this summer) is entitled MEG: Hell’s Aquarium. (What would Peter Benchley say?)

You might recall that earlier this decade, director Jan de Bont (Speed, Speed 2: Jason Patrick) was close to steering the film into reality for New Line. Producers at the time included Guillermo del Toro and CHUD.com’s Nick Nunziata. In a funny tidbit from the LAT article, MEG‘s creator, Alten, who sees this as a “billion dollar film franchise,” laughs remembering that one rejected script “stuck wings on the shark.” Somebody please email me that concept art! That is more friggin’ ‘tarded than Spinal Tap’s Shark Sandwich. Are we talking fairy wings or dragon wings?

Discuss: Do you believe in MEG? Who should direct MEG? What should MEG 4 be subtitled? Wings or no wings? Would you see MEG if Uwe Boll directed it? Michael Bay? Jason Reitman?


MegYesterday we reported that Dennis Hopper is set to star in Speed 3. We wondered is Speed series helmer Jan de Bont would also make a return, but decided that he would probably be too busy. Bont has been attached to Meg, a monster flick which involves the Carcharodon Megalodon, the 70 foot, 40 ton prehistoric cousin of the great white shark. The film has been delayed, but was supposed to go ahead come fall. Well apparently not.

Steve Alten, the author of the book, has revealed in his latest newsletter that the project has fallen into development hell. Alten wrote:

MEG MOVIE: Extinct at New Line Cinema
Yes, this is bad news mostly in the wasted two years.
The key execs at New Line always treated MEG like an unwanted stepchild, and now, with my option set to expire in October, the[y] decided NOT to proceed.

In a way this is actually GOOD news. The MEG movie WILL HAPPEN and it is better to wait and do it right with the right team than accept mediocrity. From now until October 30th (the day I officially get MEG back) we’ll be hard at work! Until then, I am restricted from offering details publicly because (technically) New Line still owns the rights to MEG. There are many people at New Line that really did work very hard on MEG and I appreciate their efforts. No bad feelings let’s just move on and work with the right studio that ACTUALLY WANTS TO MAKE A GREAT MOVIE AND OWN A BILLION DOLLAR FRANCHISE.

Hopefully some other movie studio will pick up the rights as it could make a cool movie. On the other hand it could be Deep Blue Sea, so it has to be done right. But the good news is that this frees Jan de Bont for a third Speed film. We’ll keep you updated.