Just weeks after Warner Bros. resurrected the shark thriller adaptation Meg, which had been floundering in development for nearly two decades, Eli Roth has entered talks to direct. There is no word when production may begin yet, but it seems this adaptation of Steve Alten's 1997 novel may finally go before cameras in the near future. No cast members have been attached at this time, but that may change soon if Eli Roth's deal is finalized.
The story has been described as "Jurassic Park with a shark," centering on two men who join forces to try and stop a massive giant shark called the Carcharodon megalodon, which was thought to be extinct for over 2 million years, but was unearthed in the deepest part of the ocean known as the Mariana Trench. The shark is said to be one of the most devastating predators in history, spanning up to 60 feet long and weighing 20 tons. The original book, which was published in 1997, is set along the California coastline, but the adaptation will be set off the coast of China, a revision which helped secure Gravity Pictures as co-financiers.
If he signs on, Eli Roth will direct from an adapted screenplay by Dean Georgaris (The Manchurian Candidate), with Colin Wilson and Belle Avery producing. The project was initially set up by Disney in 1997, shortly after the book was published, but the studio let it fall by the wayside when another shark thriller, Deep Blue Sea, debuted in 1999. Jan de Bont was once set to direct from an adapted script written by Steve Alten with Guillermo del Toro producing, which was set for release in 2006 before the adaptation was shut down due to budgetary issues, causing the rights to revert back to the author in 2007. Eli Roth has two projects set for release later this year, with The Green Inferno arriving in theaters September 25 and Knock, Knock, which doesn't have a release date in place yet.