It’s been a long road through development hell for Meg, a monster movie about a giant shark, but cameras have finally started rolling on the Warner Bros. picture. The project finally gained serious steam last year when filmmaker Eli Roth signed on to make his studio debut, but he dropped out over creative differences this spring. Warner Bros. subsequently set National Treasure and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice director Jon Turteltaub to take the helm, and now cameras have begun rolling in New Zealand on the science-fiction action thriller.
Jason Statham leads the film alongside Chinese actress Li Bingbing (Forbidden Kingdom), and the official synopsis is as follows:
A deep-sea submersible—part of an international undersea observation program—has been attacked by a massive creature, previously thought to be extinct, and now lies disabled at the bottom of the deepest trench in the Pacific…with its crew trapped inside. With time running out, expert deep sea rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Statham) is recruited by a visionary Chinese oceanographer (Winston Chao), against the wishes of his daughter Suyin (Li Bingbing), to save the crew—and the ocean itself—from this unstoppable threat: a pre-historic 75-foot-long shark known as the Megalodon. What no one could have imagined is that, years before, Taylor had encountered this same terrifying creature. Now, teamed with Suyin, he must confront his fears and risk his own life to save everyone trapped below…bringing him face to face once more with the greatest and largest predator of all time.
Turteltaub is working from a script by Dean Georgaris (Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life) and Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber (Red), and the film is certainly being produced with an eye towards worldwide appeal. In addition to New Zealand, filming is also poised to take place in China, with Beijing Digital Impression serving as a producing partner on the film which already has secured distribution in China via Gravity Pictures.
The cast is decidedly international as well. Alongside Statham and Bingbing, the ensemble includes Cliff Curtis (Fear the Walking Dead), Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, Page Kennedy, Jessica McNamee, Ólafur Darris Ólafsson, Sophia Shuya Cai, and Heroes alum Masi Oka.
Turteltaub has Clint Eastwood’s frequent cinematographer Tom Stern (American Sniper, The Hunger Games) handling the photography, and it’ll be interesting to see what kind of tone Meg strikes as Turteltaub’s previous output leans heavily towards the family/kid-friendly oriented.
Meg will be released in theaters on March 2, 2018.