When it comes to monster movies, franchises are often faced with the question of how to keep the series going when they are based around a single monster without getting repetitive. In the case of 2018's The Meg, a movie about Jason Statham fighting a giant, prehistoric shark that made over half a billion dollars at the box office, the answer seems to be "more is better". Filmmaker Ben Wheatley, who will be helming The Meg 2, recently hinted to DenOfGeek that the film might see Statham facing off against not one but several giant, prehistoric sharks.
"I don't think I can say at the moment what's going on, the ins and outs of [the story]. But guaranteed, there will be a Megalodon - maybe more than one."
Based on the novel, Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten, The Meg was a co-production between Hollywood and the Chinese film industry. The story revolves around a group of scientists who encounter a megalodon shark almost 80 feet in length while on a rescue mission at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
Leading the mission is Rescue diver Jonas Taylor, played by Statham, who had previously lost two members of his crew to the "Meg" shark, and grown bitter and depressed over the fact that no one believed his story. After a long, hard-fought battle, Jonas and the others are successful in killing the Meg, only to discover it was the offspring of a much larger shark.
The film ended with the bigger Meg also meeting its demise after getting fatally wounded and surrounded by killer sharks. But in the climax, it was indicated that more members of the megalodon species had escaped the depths of the ocean where they had lain hidden for so long, setting up a possible sequel. According to Wheatley, the sequel will take the action to a whole new level.
"I'm storyboarding at the moment on Meg 2. It's been going on for four months, five months. It's my happy place, I love storyboarding. So yeah, I'm cutting storyboards and watching animatics, and slowly constructing the movie. It's really exciting. It's just action on a massive, massive scale."
This is not the first franchise that Statham has been attached to that started out relatively grounded, but grew increasingly more ridiculous with each new installment. The same thing happened with the Transporter series and Fast & Furious. Despite the over-the-top tone of the sequels in those franchises, Statham never fails to bring his rugged, no-nonsense gravitas to his roles, which helps sell the premise, even if it has to do with fighting a bunch of prehistoric sharks.
Considering the breakout success of the original The Meg, its sequel is also expected to do well, and Statham is confirmed to be returning in the lead role, as well as having input in the story development process. It will be interesting to see if the actor manages to create another billion-dollar franchise for himself from scratch. This story arrives from Den of Geek.