We’re well into the hot, humid days of summer. To date, Summer 2018 has generously given horror fans Hereditary, Upgrade, and The First Purge. But it wouldn’t be summer without a decent shark flick to play off of our fears of what lurks under the ocean. Last summer gave us 47 Meters Down and 2016 delivered the fun The Shallows. But this summer will beg the question – Is bigger truly better? The most hotly anticipated box office horror film set to release in August is the long anticipated The Meg.
What Is It About and When Does It Come Out?
Based on the 1997 Steve Alten novel, Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror, The Meg has been heavily promoted by Warner Bros Pictures in recent months. To date, we know Jason Statham plays a deep sea rescue diver tasked with rescuing the crew on a submersible research station that has been stranded at the bottom of the ocean. However, to rescue its crew, Statham must confront a monster he’s seen once before – the previously believed to be extinct Megalodon shark, a 75-foot prehistoric fish. We’re just a little over a month out from the release date of August 10.
Who’s Making It?
Director Jon Turteltaub is behind the camera for The Meg. Turteltaub is an interesting choice to helm the action-horror film and his presence perhaps says a lot about the tone we can expect The Meg to adopt. To date, Turteltaub has largely crafted safe, crowd-pleasing action-comedy fare like the National Treasure films. He was also the director behind the fun Cool Runnings and early 90’s Sandra Bullock vehicle, While You Were Sleeping. Turteltaub has no experience with the horror genre having only directed the middling psychological thriller, Instinct.
Who’s In It?
Action star Jason Statham is headlining The Meg. It’s an interesting casting choice that, along with Turteltaub’s presence, strongly suggests that The Meg will lean heavily on action. The international cast is rounded out by Cliff Curtis (Fear the Walking Dead), Ruby Rose (Orange is the New Black), Rainn Wilson (The Office), and Li Bingbing (Transformers: Age of Extinction). Rain Wilson’s casting isn’t surprising given Turteltaub’s preference for comedy-oriented action.
What Does the Promotional Material Tell Us?
Since the first trailer dropped in early April, Warner Bros Pictures has kicked its marketing efforts into high gear. In addition to the original trailer, we’ve now seen a couple of international trailers, TV spots, and several promotional images and plaster.
While the first trailer didn’t give much information about the film’s story, the international trailers and television spots have filled out the. blanks in The Meg’s basic pemise. More importantly, the promotional material tells you a lot about about the film’s tone. From the opening shots of the first trailer, The Meg seems to promise an intense under-water horror film with Megalodon’s shadowy appearance. However, most subsequent marketing suggests that the Jon Turteltaub-directed triller may have more in common with Alexandre Aja’s Piranha Renny Harlin’s Deep Blue Sea than Jaws.
All the trailer shots of the giant shark are quick making it difficult to get a feel for the quality of the special effects. The quality of CGI effects will be crucial to The Meg‘s long-term box office prospects. Admittedly, the shot of the Megalodon swimming beneath all those swimmers looks pretty cool. Ultimately the marketing material seems to promise some late-summer fun in the tradition of shark films like Deep Blue Sea and other lighter creature-fare like the underrated Lake Placid.