Eli Roth to Direct a Giant Prehistoric Shark Movie

By  · Published on June 17th, 2015

Bantam Books/The Weinstein Comany

If you loved the giant prehistoric sea creature in Jurassic World, then you’re going to love the giant prehistoric sea creature in Meg. The former beast is a Mosasaurus, an aquatic reptile from the Cretaceous period that could be as long as 59ft. The latter is a C. megalodon, an early shark from the much more recent (by 50m years) Cenozoic Era that could also be as long as 59ft. It’s basically the animal that bridges Jurassic World and Jaws.

Meg itself has been around for what seems like an eon – we first posted about it back in 2008, but it has been in development a decade longer, since the publication of Steve Alten’s original book “Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror.” According to Variety, the adaptation is now finally picking up steam at Warner Bros. with Eli Roth tapped to helm the monster movie, based on a script by Dean Georgaris (Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life), and the words “franchise potential” being thrown around.

Although the book’s cover shows a C. megalodon chomping on a T. rex, the two creatures never existed at the same time, including in the modern setting of this particular story. But maybe after the success of Jurassic World, the studio will throw in a depiction of that cover just for the hell of it as an anachronistic prologue. Warner Bros. isn’t looking to be too faithful, though, as they’ve changed the location of the action from the coast of California to China, which is obviously to appeal to that country’s box office.

They’ll probably need that extra push, because over here (and probably over there, too) we’ve seen a ton of schlocky movies starring C. megalodon already, including 2002’s Megalodon and Shark Attack 3: Megalodon, 2012’s Jurassic Shark, Asylum’s Mega Shark vs…. franchise and plenty of nonfiction works, plus Discovery Channel’s controversial sold-as-a-doc special Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives.

Meg will have better effects than all of them, but that won’t necessarily make it a better movie. There are problems with giant monsters in general as far as their visibility, for the people on screen and differently for those of us in the audience. But in the sea it’s even harder to give us something scary. Jaws gave us something big enough to be impressed by – and for the characters to be overwhelmed by – but not too big that it couldn’t be easily hidden from view. C. megalodon won’t be creeping up on any beaches, that’s for sure.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.