The Meg star Jason Statham has expressed disappointment the movie isn’t bloodier. The Meg is based on a series of novels by author Steve Alten, and a film version has been mooted for well over a decade. Directors like Jan de Bont and Eli Roth (Death Wish) have taken a crack at the project, but it never seemed to move forward until Statham signed on. Jon Turtletaub ultimately helmed the aquatic blockbuster, which sees Statham’s Navy diver facing off with a 75-foot shark.
Given the $150 million price tag of the project, The Meg was never going to be a bloody affair. The trailers and posters for the movie have been eager to play up the lighthearted tone, emphasizing humor and action over horror and suspense. Movies featuring sharks have made a minor comeback in recent years thanks to the success of modest budget movies like The Shallows and 47 Meters Down, but The Meg will be the first real test of the genre’s box office viability in years.
The Meg director Jon Turtletaub recently stated R-rated footage for the movie was shot which wasn’t used, and now Jason Statham has admitted in a new Collider interview his personal instincts would have been for a bloodier, harder-edged movie.
Jon’s interpretation of this is a fun end of summer [movie]. It’s full of humor. It’s a little bit more directed to a different taste of what my own is in terms of I like more gory adult stuff. I’m a lot older but I can’t speak for what this film could possibly speak to a younger audience. I might have made a film that not many people wanted to see. I’m not a filmmaker. I’m sort of an actor that’s going to portray a role. I go there but I’ve learned not to get too attached to your own idea of what something could be.
Statham understands the business side of making The Meg PG-13, but bluntly sums up his argument for a gorier movie with ‘Yeah but you go, “Where’s the f***ing blood?” It’s like, “There’s a shark.” It sounds like the movie Statham initially signed up for wasn’t ultimately what made it to cinemas either, with the actor discussing the various rewrites and tonal shifts the project went through.
Between Statham’s comments and Turtletaub’s admission of a bloodier cut, it seems the studio might have toyed with a darker version of The Meg at one point. R-rated movies have become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to the success of movies like Deadpool and Logan, so perhaps gory footage was filmed just in case they decided to go that route. That said, given the hefty price tag, a PG-13 was always the more viable option.
While the box-office projections aren’t great at the moment, hopefully, The Meg will prove to be enough of a hit that Statham could potentially return of a lower-budgeted, gorier take on the material.
- The Meg (2018) release date: Aug 10, 2018