Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten is one of my favorite books. If there are any shark fans among you that haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It's a very quick read, but it's a very worthwhile book.
Jonas Taylor, a deep-sea submersible pilot, is on a mission in the Marianas Trench when he sees the deadliest ocean predator to ever exist, the Megalodon shark. Luckily making it back to the surface, Taylor was hysterical and deemed crazy at the mention of an extinct species that nobody else could confirm. Years later, he's invited to undergo another mission in the trench and now he's hell-bent on proving this shark's existence. As Taylor and another submersible pilot dove into the trench, Taylor gets his wish as the massive shark attacks his partner's sub. After multiple events (which I won't get into,) a shark makes its way to the surface and begins to kill anything it can find. Now, Taylor and his colleagues have to find any way to stop the predator before it controls the oceans once more.
As more and more news is announced about the upcoming film adaptation, I find myself wondering what exactly they'll carry from the novel. As I said, it's not a very long book, so there's not really that much to lose in translation or change in the story. Here are three things that I truly hope make the cut.
1. Jason Statham Can't Be His Usual Badass Self
Statham has been cast in the lead role of ex-Naval pilot, Jonas Taylor. In this story, there's nobody for him to beat the crap out of in his awesome displays of mixed martial arts. You can't fight underwater very well. That means that he'll need to bring something to this role that he hasn't truly explored in a long time. He has to be a scientist, he has to be a researcher, but above all else, Jason Statham has to be afraid. He has to react to what most likely will only be a green screen in his perception, rather than an attacker to oppose him head-on.
That all being said, I have faith that he can do it. I find that faith from Statham's role in 2013's Redemption. Yes, it had action and some of Statham's usual elements in it, but it also had the action star in a vulnerable state. He wasn't just intimidating and vengeful through the entire film, he was a homeless man just trying to survive. I'm looking forward to his portrayal of Jonas Taylor, but I expect a certain edge to his performance.
2. The Visual Effects Shouldn't ALL Be Based Off Of CGI
I understand that, with this caliber of action/horror film, there will HAVE to be a lot of CGI (here meaning "Computer Generated Imagery"). I only ask that they take a page from the Jurassic Park playbook and use some semblance of animatronics so that it's not complete overkill by computers. Some could argue that Jaws is the obvious choice to mirror, as it too was a horror film about a giant shark, but the mechanical shark in that film was only about 30 feet long, with a megalodon being twice the size. Steven Spielberg can attest to the fact that working with a model that was just half the size was a trip through Hell and back. It may not be easy to create the models required for this film, but it could end up going a long way.
3. No Major Changes In The Story
As I said before, the first novel is not that long, reaching just under 400 pages (in the paperback copy.) I'm not asking for a perfect re-creation, only that there aren't any absolute changes to the major plot points in the story. It is a lot to ask, though, of a book-to-film adaptation. I would've loved for Steve Alten to write the screenplay to the film, but, according to IMDb, he is not currently involved.
Need to see some more shark action? There's blood in the water in the Movie Pilot original video below:
It feels good to finally write another article, but let me know what you think! Are you excited about 2018's Meg, or is there another book-to-film adaptation you can't wait to see? Share your thoughts in the comments!