Following its massive, block-busting success, Steven Spielberg once had an awesome idea for Jaws 2 that had a shot of living up to the original - and which he would have also directed. Unfortunately, creative differences ultimately set the director and the series on different paths.
Based on the novel by Peter Benchley, Jaws centers around a picturesque New England island in the summer of 1975 that is playing host to vacationing families, a new police chief from the city, and an unnaturally massive great white shark. After a series of deaths caused by said shark, police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) rallies together a small crew (played by Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss) to hunt down and kill the shark before it causes anymore devastation. Unfortunately, the task proves to be far more challenging than any of the men could have predicted. Directed by Spielberg, the movie went on to break box office records - even helping coin the phrase "blockbuster" - and a series of underwhelming sequels followed. However, had Spielberg had his way, the direct sequel to Jaws would have taken the series in a significantly different direction.
On the Shoot This Now podcast, guest Mark Ramsey (host of the Inside Jaws podcast), revealed an interesting tidbit of information regarding the direction in which the Jaws series might have gone had producers agreed with Spielberg's ideas. Instead of making the sort of traditional follow-up sequel that Jaws 2 ended up becoming, Spielberg instead suggested that the next movie in the Jaws series be a prequel; specifically, he wanted it to be a prequel that documented the events of the USS Indianapolis - the real-life story that Shaw's shark hunter Quint tells during the movie. Unfortunately, because the studio wasn't interested in making that sort of movie, Spielberg parted ways. Ramsey said:
"Originally, they came to him about a sequel for Jaws, and he said, 'I'll do it if it's about the Indianapolis,' and they said, 'No,' and he said, 'No.' So that's how they parted ways at that point."
In Jaws, Quint tells his small crew about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis during World War II, and about how hundreds of helpless men were eaten one-by-one by passing sharks as they floated in the water, waiting for rescue. Quint explains that he was one of the men in the water, and even shows off his scars to prove it.
While the overall style of Spielberg's vision of the sequel would have differed greatly from the original movie had Spielberg gotten his way, it would have capitalized on one of the most famous scenes in the entire movie. Quint's monologue about the USS Indianapolis has since become a classic, and given that no sequel in the entire Jaws series has managed to live up to to the original - let alone that monologue - producers might have been smart to take Spielberg's advice and take the series into a less expected direction.
Source: Shoot This Now