The Meg will see Jason Statham battle a 75-foot shark. Here's everything you need to know.

News Joseph Baxter

Apr 10, 2018

Cinema’s favorite follicly-challenged, cockney ass-kicker, Jason Statham, will be taking on his biggest challenge in the form of a giant prehistoric shark in 2018’s The Meg. The film, a long-gestating adaptation of Steve Alten’s popular novel series, centers on a former Navy diver who’s nursing an old vendetta against a 75-foot, 70,000 lb. Cretaceous-era shark called the Carcharadon Megalodon (or “Meg”). His current objective involves a dangerous deep-sea rescue miles down the Mariana Trench.

For action film veteran Jason Statham, who normally handles business in stylized hand-to-hand combat, brandishing the occasional firearm, this effort represents a major departure, as he tackles a colossal, carnivorous killer in depths of darkness. 

In the director’s chair for The Meg is Jon Turteltaub, a helmer who reaped a successful action/suspense track record behind the camera for the two National Treasure films (with a third in the works). Nostalgic ’90s kids may also appreciate his work directing the original 3 Ninjas and Cool Runnings.

Turteltaub works off a screenplay by James Vanderbilt; a revision of an adaptation of Steve Alten’s novel drafted by Belle Avery, Dean Georgaris, Erich Hoeber and Jon Hoeber. Vanderbilt comes into the project having written films such as Independence Day: ResurgenceSolaceThe Amazing Spider-Man (and its sequel), White House DownThe LosersZodiac and The Rundown.

The Meg Trailer

Check out the first trailer…

The Meg Release Date

The Meg will arrive to terrorize the cinematic seas on August 10, 2018. The film will be released in 3D and IMAX formats under the auspices of Warner Bros.

Firstly, EW has provided a new photo from the film, showing the beachside landscape in which the titular prehistoric shark is arriving to feed. Appropriate to that portentous premise, we see the sea filled with rainbow-colored life preservers, seemingly resembling a bowl of Kellogg’s Fruit Loops. Unfortunately, neither Toucan Sam nor any nearby lifeguard will be of any help to these hapless beachgoers.  

Secondly, star Jason Statham tells the outlet that his early preparation for the film took a shocking method-inspired turn, which saw him go swimming with actual sharks. (Take THAT, Roy Scheider!) As the British action star states:

“On the early stages of the prep, we took a trip to Fiji, and we went diving with some bull sharks. They hand-feed them and it’s a spectacular thing to see. These things are three meters in length, huge big things. There were 20 or 30 of these things, and they were hand-feeding [them] big tuna heads, and we got very, very close, and it was a spectacular moment. To swim in close proximity to a big, three-meter shark, is to be recommended to all and everyone.”

Statham, a self-confessed “SCUBA diver fanatic,” further describes the experience, revealing that his initial anxieties were quickly alleviated by the tranquility of the undersea environment, helped by the presence of other divers, which almost makes one forget about the 20-30 carnivores with razor-sharp teeth.

The previous update arrived back in late December with the release of a preview of a photo (featured in the article’s top image,) set for the then-upcoming issue of Empire. For what it’s worth, it does provide the very first tease of the film’s terrifying titular shark.

Based on what little we have to work with here, Jason Statham’s Jonas Taylor appears to be in an underwater station, standing behind the dubious safety of glass, as the sizable, scarred, teeth-teeming countenance of the Meg itself seems to be headed straight for him in a crashing collision course. Indeed, the creature looks ready to recreate the most notorious scene from 1983’s Jaws 3-D, hopefully inciting its intended awe, rather than raucous laughter.

The Meg Cast

Jason Statham (The Transporter, The Expendables) plays protagonist Jonas Taylor, a deep sea diving expert with an impressive military background, who is recruited for a risky rescue mission, pitted against the titular, towering prehistoric shark.

Li Bingbing (Transformers: Age of Extinction, Resident Evil: Retribution), the cross-continental Chinese star plays Suyin, a reluctant cohort of Jonas’s and the daughter of his mission’s benefactor.

Jessica McNamee (CHiPs, Sirens) will play a major character named Celeste.

Ruby Rose (John Wick: Chapter 2), Rainn Wilson (The Office), Robert Taylor (Longmire), Masi Oka (Heroes), Cliff Curtis (Fear the Walking Dead), Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (Emerald City), Page Kennedy (Weeds) and Winston Chao (Skiptrace) also fill the cast.

The above official image of Statham and Bingbing on the set first arrived in October 2016.

The Meg Story

Per the official synopsis:

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.