One of the original fiberglass sharks used in Steven Spielberg's Jaws is set to be on display at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Bruce the Shark is currently being restored by special effects legend Greg Nicotero. Bruce is the only surviving shark prop from the 1975 classic, which is celebrating its 44th anniversary this year. The shark props were not very easy to work with on the set and caused numerous delays. However, Bruce is a part of Hollywood history and he's about to show off his makeover.
As seen in some photos by Greg Nicotero, Bruce the Shark was in some pretty rough shape when he first arrived. Nearly all of his original paint was flaking off and he looked like he had been stored along the side of someone's house for decades without a cover. Nicotero and crew quickly stripped away all of the original paint and brought the prop back down to its original fiber glass, while taking out the teeth and eyes.
Now, Bruce is almost finished and he is looking a lot like he did in Jaws. Greg Nicotero and crew still have to put in some new eyes and teeth, but aside from that, he looks great. Sam Adlen acquired the Jaws prop for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures back in 2016. Adlen was able to get the shark after the studio scrapped it, along with a bunch of old stunt cars. Bruce was displayed at a junkyard for a number of years, so his new home should be quite different. With that being said, it's going to be a while before fans are able to go meet Bruce in person.
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is still not open. The museum was first announced in 2012 and it will reportedly not open this year or before next year's Academy Awards, according to sources. So, anyone wanting to go check out Bruce, who is one of only four molds made for the great white shark, is going to have to wait until next year some time. Since it's already been so long, the wait could go on and possibly stretch into the following year. You can read a statement from the Academy below.
"As we continue working through the permitting process and move closer to completion, we are weighing the overall schedule for major industry events in 2020, and on this basis will choose the optimal moment for our official opening."
Greg Nicotero and his crew have really done an amazing job in getting Bruce back to his Jaws glory days. Looking at the before picture really gives some insight into how the prop shark was nearly thrown away. Thankfully, Sam Adlen saw the value and preserved it for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. You can check out some images of Nicotero's restoration process below, thanks to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Twitter account.