Just when you thought that gratuitously mutated, prehistoric, killer sharks should be restricted to your television on the SyFy Channel or on late-night pay cable movie channels or to the cut-off DVD bin at Walmart, Hollywood has decided to get into the game. Warner Brothers is bringing The Meg to theaters later this Summer.
Based on Steve Alten's 1997 science fiction novel: Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror, the film is about a 75-foot Megalodon shark that attacks a beach. The Meg will be released in Real D, 3D, and in Imax. Here's the plot: Two hundred miles off the Chinese coast, a 75-foot-long Megalodon shark rises from the bottom of the ocean and attacks a research vessel, eventually leaving the crew in need of help. And what does a crew do that's been stranded by a monster, prehistoric shark in the middle of the ocean? They call in a diver who has faced the shark before so that he can save them, but also stop the shark from attacking the mainland and making the Chinese coast and its people part of his dinner buffet.
On paper, the entire thing seems ridiculous, yet, considering how Warner Brothers are basing The Meg on Alten's 1997 novel, it's possible that the studio is trying to capture some 1990s nostalgia with their giant, killer shark movie; or, at best, trying to capitalize on the emerging new camp. Obviously, the history of the killer shark movie goes back quite a way -- much earlier than the 1990s. Not even discussing Steven Speilberg's 1975 film, Jaws, these types of over-the-top, absurd, killer shark gone crazy movies have been appearing on television, and on home video for almost twenty years now.
Yet, the whole giant mutant, killer shark movie buzz can be argued to have begun really with 2013's Sharknado. Receiving huge ratings and then grossing over $200,000 dollars during a one-night-only big screen showing across just 200 screens, the killer shark phenomenon has proven that audiences are looking for a curious blend of humor and horror when they go to the theater. What followed, had to be expected: Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus, Mega Shark Versus Mecha Shark, Super Shark, Avalanche Sharks, 3-Headed Shark Attack, Sand Sharks, Sharknado 2, Sharknado 3, Sharknado 3 -- how can Warner Bros. resist? Isn't it a sign, really, that once again the Hollywood studio system will always be slow when it comes to giving audiences what they really want?
Originally to be directed by horror maestro Eli Roth, but instead directed by Jon Turteltaub (the director behind the Nicholas Cage National Treasure movies), and starring Jason Statham and Rainn Wilson, The Meg hits theaters on August 10th, 2018.