New Line is building an impressive cast for their upcoming thriller Meg. Action icon Jason Statham is set to star alongside Jessica McNamee, Bingbing Fan and the most recent casting addition, Ruby Rose, who came aboard earlier this month. Today we have word that The Office alum Rainn Wilson is coming aboard in a very important role.
The story will center on Jason Statham's character, a former Naval captain and expert diver. He is recruited to undertake a deep-sea mission rescue off the coast of China, where he must save a couple of scientists who find themselves under attack from a threat more terrifying than any monster. Deadline reports that Rainn Wilson is playing Jack Morris, the tech billionaire who funds an underwater observation program that unknowingly unleashes the giant shark known as the Carcharodon megalodon, which is said to be a 70-foot, 40-ton prehistoric cousin of the great white shark.
Eli Roth was originally attached to direct before he dropped out earlier this year, with Jon Turteltaub immediately stepping in to replace him back in March. The filmmaker will be directing from a script by Dean Georgias (36, The Machurian Candidate), which was rewritten by James Vanderbilt (White House Down, The Amazing Spider-Man). The project is based on Steve Alten's novel, which Disney first tried to develop before New Line picked it up, with director Jan De Bont, but the project never came to fruition.
The project resurfaced last year, thanks to Dean Georgias' draft of the script, after over a decade in development. Warner Bros. has set a March 2, 2018 release date for Meg, putting it up against an untitled Fox/Marvel movie. Meg will also debut one week after Legendary's Pacific Rim 2 on February 23, 2018 and one week before Disney's Wreck-It Ralph 2. It still isn't clear when production may begin, or how many other roles have yet to be cast.
Author Steve Alten has also written two novel sequels, so if this project becomes a hit, those books may be heading to the silver screen as well. Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Belle Avery and Colin Wilson are producing, with Wei Wayne Jiang, Barrie M. Osborne, Randy Greenberg and Gerald R. Molen executive producing. Rainn Wilson, who starred as Dwight Schrute on NBC's The Office for nine seasons, will voice the villainous Gargamel in Sony's animated adventure Smurfs: The Lost Village.