There's always problems that arise when a movie is based off of a popular book. Readers often dismiss a movie when it can't cover everything that the book did in a few hours, and there are often pretty big changes that happen along the way for storytelling purposes or plain artistic license. This is definitely the case with the first trailer for The Meg, starring Jason Statham, which is based on the popular Steve Alten book, Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror.
Fans of Steve Alten's original book noticed some pretty big changes in the first trailer for The Meg, even in a few minutes. Angry readers took to social media to share their displeasure with The Meg trailer, some even going as far as to call Steve Alten a "sellout." Fans of the original book noticed that the coloring of the prehistoric shark were inaccurate from the source material as well as some differences in characters and locations. However, these fans of the book are basing their opinions off of a few short minutes of footage.
Steve Alten felt so disheartened by the negative feedback of The Meg trailer that he took to social media to pen a lengthy response, which has since been deleted. While he is flattered by the fans of his book, he feels that some of the criticism is going too far. The author feels that people have not given the credit that the trailer truly deserves. He explains.
"I know there are some of you who are disappointed that the movie varies from the book. I completely understand, and take it as a compliment. However, you are basing your opinion on a few minutes of trailers, and some seriously great footage. The Mariana Trench looks incredible in the International trailer. As far as the Meg being albino - they tried. Albinos in real life don't look natural, in CGI they look fake. I applaud their decision."
Steve Alten also went on to say that the first treatment that he received for The Meg when it was at New Line gave him anxiety. The author made it clear that he put a lot time and effort into making the latest treatment the best that it could be. Even though there's going to be some differences, it's to be expected, which Alten reiterates. He had this to say.
"When I read the scripts from Hollywood Pictures and New Line Cinema, my friend Nick Nunziata had to talk me off the ledge. There was no Mac, no recognizable scenes... hell, Shane Salerno had Tanaka as a whaler from Japan who is whaling in California... huh? He wrote Moby Dick with a shark. When New Line reverted the rights, I wrote the next script with producer Belle Avery. That is where the final movie script sprang from."
As for the calls of "selling out," Steve Alten doesn't seem to understand those claims at all, noting that he's supremely happy that a studio wants to put out something that he wrote. The author then brought up the struggles to live as an artist, living from paycheck to paycheck. He says.
"As for accusing me of selling out what does that even mean? I am honored to have a studio WANT to buy my work. If selling out is defined as earning money to feed my family, then sure. None of you know how hard the last 22 years have been - the last eleven with Parkinson's. As a full-time author, I live between paychecks, and have borrowed money from my late Dad, my mom, and a close friend to keep this dream and career alive. Selling out? As opposed to taking the project to the grave with me? Most Important - this is a really amazing movie...one that I believe will earn in excess of a billion dollars and spawn some even better sequels. As always, you are invited along for the ride... what would I do without you?"
In the end, fans of Steve Alten's book are basing their opinions on a few short minutes of footage, and if they're that upset about it, maybe they shouldn't go see The Meg when it hits theaters later this summer. You can read the rest of Alten's now deleted response to the negativity surrounding The Meg trailer over at WeGotThisCovered.