If you’re looking for a fun time at the movies, I’m giving a big recommendation to the giant shark movie The Meg. To tell you a bit about the story, The Meg stars Jason Statham as a former deep sea rescue diver who must face down a prehistoric shark—the Megalodon—and save a team of scientist trapped at the bottom of the ocean. The film is helmed by National Treasure director Jon Turteltaub from a script by Dean Georgaris (Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life) and Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber (RED). A presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures and Gravity Pictures, the film was produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Belle Avery and Colin Wilson.
I’ve seen the film twice and it’s the type of movie you want to see on a huge screen with a big crowd – especially when the Megalodon makes its presence known…
The Meg also stars Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Winston Chao, Page Kennedy, Jessica McNamee, Ólafur Darris Ólafsson, Robert Taylor, Sophia Cai, Masi Oka and Cliff Curtis.
With the film hitting theaters this weekend, I recently sat down with Jason Statham for an exclusive interview. During the wide-ranging conversation he talked about making The Meg, how things changed from when he first signed on to what people will see on screens, why he enjoyed working with Jon Turteltaub, if he would be down to make a sequel, memorable moments from filming, the explosion of the Asian box office, if he’s ever considered directing, and a lot more. In addition, with Statham currently prepping to make David Leitch’s Hobbs and Shaw with Dwayne Johnson, we talked about what fans can expect from the spinoff, where they’re filming, and why he’s excited to make the film.
Collider: You filmed this movie I want to say like two years ago.
JASON STATHAM: Two years ago. I want to say that. In December it will be two years ago. It will be, I think we went down there October, November, yes. We’re almost at two years.
It was a long time ago.
STATHAM: Yeah, I remember.
Obviously a lot of VFX. A lot of stuff in post-production.
But were you sort of like, “Is this movie ever going to come out?”
STATHAM: You do think that. I mean two years is a long time. Normally I’d do, I mean right now we’re just about to shoot Hobbs and Shaw. That’s coming out within six months of filming it type of thing. You know what I mean?
STATHAM: They have a date it’s out. This is quadruple the amount of time that their spending on that and that will have possibly the same amount of effects. I don’t know why this is taking so long to come out but I guess it’s one of those unanswered questions I don’t have an answer for.
I also think that the August release date is a really choice release date for this. I think that they were probably waiting for this. Just like an end of summer have fun at the movies.
STATHAM: If you don’t get it you wait until the next year?
Yes. I think they were aiming at a release date. I want to jump back in time. Often when you sign on to a movie it’s going to be one way. Then you end up being on set and the movie turns into something else. From when you signed on to what people are seeing on screen, how much changed along the way?
STATHAM: A lot.
Yeah I kind of figure.
STATHAM: A lot. Scripts totally different. There was so many different … sometimes you just go, “How did it happen? How did it go from this to this to this to that?” You just can’t keep a track on it. I guess if you have the control to keep it a certain way you would, but you don’t. They have a movie to make. They have so many people deciding on what action stays and what scenes stay. How the characters … In the end they want to put something at the beginning. The whole thing at the beginning where I do a rescue on a sub? That was not in the script that I read. That was all brand new stuff, good or bad. I’m just letting you know.
I’ll defend that scene by saying it sets up your relationship. It’s a huge plot point in this version of the movie.
STATHAM: Yeah, but there was other stuff at the beginning that was … I’m, you know. I’m just saying it was radically different. I guess in some ways your imagination and your own perception of what it’s going to be is its worst enemy. Just because you should always try and not narrow that down and imagine what you want it to be and just go for the ride. John’s interpretation of this is a fun end of summer [movie]. It’s full of humor. It’s a little bit more directed to a different taste of what my own is in terms of I like more gory adult stuff. I’m a lot older but I can’t speak for what this film could possibly speak to a younger audience.
I might have made a film that not many people wanted to see. I’m not a filmmaker. I’m sort of an actor that’s going to portray a role. I go there but I’ve learned not to get too attached with your own idea of what something could be.
I think that what’s interesting about this film is it’s clearly more of a four-quadrant movie. This is aimed at everybody.