Ben Wheatley, the director behind Kill List, High-Rise, Free Fire, and the upcoming In the Earth, will next helm The Meg 2, the sequel to the 2018 giant shark movie starring Jason Statham and directed by Jon Turteltaub. While we still don’t know a lot about The Meg 2, in a recent interview, Wheatley talked about the fact that while he may be a new director taking over a franchise, he doesn’t plan to drastically change things from the first film. That said, Wheatley does promise some “insanely large” action.
When Ben Wheatley was announced as the director of The Meg 2, there was a certain type of excitement that arose thanks to the quality of Wheatley’s previous work. Wheatley has made some truly weird, violent, disturbing movies, and I think it’s safe to say that most people familiar with his movies assumed he’d be bringing that same kind of bizarre energy to his giant shark movie. But that might not be the case. While speaking with Comic Book, Wheatley made it sound like he’s not going to stray too far from what director Jon Turteltaub set up in the first Meg.
“A lot of it is respecting The Meg, and trying to make sure it’s a great Meg film,” Wheatley said. “And as you can see from the movies I’ve made, they’re not necessarily, it’s not…when you go and do Doctor Who, I don’t completely change it because I wanted to do it. I didn’t want to necessarily make it something completely different that nobody recognized, you know? So there’s that element of back and forth.”
While I appreciate Wheatley’s apparent respect for what came before, I have to add that the first Meg was not really a good movie. Sure, there was a certain charm in watching Jason Statham deal with a gigantic monster shark – but the film itself was severely lacking, and I would’ve been all-in if Wheatley had decided to jettison everything from the first movie and create something weird and different with The Meg 2. Alas, while that might not be the case, I’m still curious to see what Wheatley does here. At the very least, the filmmaker sounds excited about making a big shark movie.
“It’s an opportunity to do action on such an insanely large scale, that it’s just unbelievable,” Wheatley said. “From doing Free Fire, which was, I thought, was all my Christmases came at once in terms of action, this is just unbelievable. And just doing the storyboards for it, just thinking and going, ‘Oh,’ it’s just…I feel a heavy responsibility for it, to make sure that it kind of delivers on all the, to all the big shark fans out there.”
We don’t know the plot details about The Meg 2 just yet. However, The Meg was based on a book by Steve Alten, and Alten also wrote a sequel novel called The Trench – so there’s a good chance Wheatley and company will be drawing on that for inspiration. Here’s The Trench‘s synopsis:
Its appetite is ravenous. Its teeth, scalpel-sharp. For the first time, the captive twenty-ton Megalodon shark has tasted human blood, and it wants more…
On the other side of the world, in the silent depths of the ocean, lies the Marianas Trench, where the Megalodon has spawned since the dawn of time. Paleobiologist Jonas Taylor once dared to enter this perilous cavern. He alone faced a Megalodon shark and cut its heart out. Now, as the body count rises and the horror of a monster’s attack grips the California coast, Jonas must begin the hunt again, and return to the waking nightmare of…[The Trench.]
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