The Meg is a gleefully cheesy sci-fi horror-thriller that pits action star Jason Statham against his greatest opponent yet (a massive prehistoric shark known as the Megalodon) - but is there an additional scene or two to stick around in the theater for, during the movie's end credits?
It's easy to grasp why Hollywood studios have wanted to adapt Steven Alten's original Meg book (which is fully titled Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror) ever since it was published, back in 1997. The premise is essentially "Jaws on steroids" and lends itself to not only a big-budget adaptation, but even a potential franchise of giant shark movies. Alten, in fact, has now spent over two decades writing Meg sequel books about the series' protagonist Jonas Taylor (the character Statham plays in the film version) and his family's encounters with terrifying creatures of the deep. That's all the more reason for Warner Bros. and The Meg director Jon Turteltaub to include an after-credits stinger alluding to the Megalodon's impending return.
However, in spite of that, The Meg doesn't include a post-credits scene. Following the action-packed showdown between the film's humans leads and its titular "monster" in the third act, The Meg's end credits start scrolling upwards with no additional footage included. Of course, it's always polite to sit through the credits, as a sign of appreciation for the many, many people that worked on a big-budget tentpole, after-credits scene or not. Still, those who have to rush out when The Meg is over won't need to worry that they missed a teaser for the sequel and/or some late-minute payoff.
Without giving away too much, it's fair to say The Meg actually includes less setup for a sequel than Alten's source material. The original Meg book features some important plot points that come back into play in later novels, but didn't make the cut in the movie. At the same time, the film leaves the door open for its followup to incorporate some of those very ideas into the mix, should The Meg become a commercial success. The Meg 2 could even go the route of Alten's first sequel novel (1999's The Trench aka. The Trench: Meg 2) and introduce the Kronosaurus - another prehistoric sea creature long thought extinct - into its universe.
With a $150 million production budget and current projections estimating a $20-22 million U.S. opening weekend for the film, the future of The Meg franchise could depend heavily on its performance at the international box office. Since it works fine as a standalone, it's no big deal, narrative-wise, if Turteltaub's underwater monster adventure is a bust from a financial perspective (though studio heads might feel differently about that...). However, if The Meg does become a commercial hit, then here's to hoping Statham eventually gets to punch every giant prehistoric sea creature in the face.
- The Meg (2018) release date: Aug 10, 2018