Giant-shark movie “MEG” rises again with Eli Roth at the helmMovies/TV,News Michael Gingold
With his cannibal opus THE GREEN INFERNO set to see its delayed release in September, Eli Roth is poised to direct a film about a much bigger maneater—a Hollywood studio production that has been in the works for two decades.
Variety reports that Roth will take the helm of MEG, the long-mooted film adaptation of Steve Alten’s novel, for Warner Bros. The story concerns a Carcharodon megalodon—a prehistoric forerunner of the great white shark that could grow to 60 feet long—that surfaces in the present day and wreaks havoc off the California coast. Dean Georgaris, whose credits include the John Woo/Ben Affleck actioner PAYCHECK and the remake of THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, wrote the script, which has won strong favor at Warners; no doubt the record-setting box office for JURASSIC WORLD this past weekend has encouraged the studio to move forward with the project. Belle Avery and Colin Wilson are producing; Roth will be seen hosting the Discovery Channel’s SHARK AFTER DARK as part of “Shark Week” next month.
A film version of MEG has been in the works since the book’s publication in 1997. It was first set up at Disney, with a script by THE DEAD ZONE’s Jeffrey Boam, before being put into turnaround when (coincidentally) Warners’ DEEP BLUE SEA beat it to screens. New Line Cinema then picked up the property, with the likes of Guillermo del Toro and Jan de Bont attached, before tabling it when the budget swelled to $200 million. In the meantime, Alten penned a trio of follow-up novels, THE TRENCH, MEG: PRIMAL WATERS and MEG: HELL’S AQUARIUM, with MEG: NIGHT STALKERS and the prequel novella MEG: ORIGINS on the way.