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Movies & TV

28th May 2018

The countdown continues… just two months until the greatest movie ever made is released in cinemas

Rory Cashin

This time, we’re looking at the long road the movie had to take to make it to the big screen.

Two months ago, we presented to you our first in-depth look at what is without a doubt going to be the greatest movie ever made, The Meg.

If you haven’t read that one, go back and read it now before continuing on with this one.

We’ll wait…


All done?

Fantastic, then let us move on with the story of how this instantly iconic and immediate classic movie came to be.

As previously reported, the movie is based on a 1997 book titled Meg: A Novel Of Deep Terror, which is the first of eight novels about the giant killer shark.

The rights to the book were initially picked up by Disney, apparently to the tune of a sweet $1 million, almost immediately after the book was published.

However, they ended up giving up the rights, as they didn’t want to go directly into competition with another killer-shark-attacking-an-underwater-science-lab movie, as Warner Bros. had Deep Blue Sea lined up for release in 1999.

That $60 million production turned in a decent run at the box office, taking in $164 million worldwide, and the book’s author attempted his own draft of the screenplay, which ended up in the hands of none other than Guillermo Del Toro (Blade II, The Shape Of Water).

Del Toro showed it to a number of producers, who then passed it on to director Jan De Bont (Twister, Speed), who was attached to the project for a number of years, and at one point, George Clooney was in the running to take the lead role.

New Line Cinema took the project to the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, apparently super confident that the movie was going to be a hit, and began pitching it to foreign distributors before a single scene had been filmed.

However, they soon got cold feet when they noticed the projected budget had ballooned to close to $200 million, and they demanded cuts be made. Even when De Bont managed to get it down to $125 million, New Line still wanted more cuts to be made, and in 2007 the entire project was dismantled, and the rights once again went back to the book’s author.

He shopped them around some more, and this time – eight years later – Warner Bros. picked them up. Yes, the company that was the reason Disney didn’t make the movie first time around would eventually become the saving grace.

Reports show that Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever) was the first choice for director, but was eventually dropped because he wanted to keep the budget at $150 million, while also maintaining an R-rating (meaning most of the teenage audience was immediately blocked from seeing it), and that he was also wanted to play the movie’s lead role.

Eventually he was replaced in the director’s chair Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure, While You Were Sleeping), and he cast Jason Statham in the lead role. And Statham is obviously very excited about the project, because he’s already talking up the movie being the first in a long franchise.

Sometimes the stars align perfectly, and movie lovers get the amazing film that we deserve, as will be the case here when The Meg arrives in cinemas on Friday 10 August.

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the incredible trailer right here:

Clip via Warner Bros. Pictures International

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