When The Meg was released in 2018 it became the sleeper hit of the summer. Pushed on by strong international grosses, it surpassed all of Warner’s expectations on the way to a decent haul.

Less than two months later The Meg 2 was announced and Jason Statham was signed on to return as Jonas Taylor. Expectations were subverted recently when it was announced that Ben Wheatley will direct. Wheatley is well known for scary, yet more cerebral fare or lower budgets. He is big in the thriller and horror game, frequently with elements of black comedy. Could this work? It could be interesting finding out.

Movies like Kill List, A Field In England, and High Rise might not have made him spring to mind, but the more you think about it…

The first movie was very loosely adapted from Steve Alten’s novel of nearly the same name. It dialed down the gore-soaked horror of the book to make something with wider box-office appeal. To mirror the book would have been an R-rating.

Talking about his vision for the sequel yesterday, Wheatley had this to say:

“It’s an opportunity to do action on such an insanely large scale that it’s just unbelievable. From doing Free Fire, which was all my Christmases came at once in terms of action, this is just unbelievable. And just doing the storyboards for it, just thinking, ‘Oh,’ it’s just… I feel a heavy responsibility for it, to make sure that it kind of delivers [for] all the big shark fans out there.”

The follow-up book was called The Trench, and it is reported that the movie will use this as a subtitle, straight from the second of Alten’s seven books about the Megalodon.

In the book, Taylor has to return to the Marianas Trench as somebody from his past threatens his family, and he finds out that the Meg was not alone down there. Meanwhile, a captive Meg breaks free and wreaks havoc down the US West Coast. There is beast vs. beast action which seems to be all the rage after Godzilla Vs. Kong.

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