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Meg Movie Might Still Live?

by
April 11, 2008
Source: LA Times

Might Meg

Despite what it sounds like, Meg has nothing to do with Meg Ryan or some kind of chick flick. Rather, it's short for Megalodon (or more exactly, Carcharodon Megalodon), which is the name of the largest known carnivorous fish to have ever existed. But to put it more plainly, it's a big-ass shark. It's also the title character of Steve Alten's 1997 bestselling novel, "Meg," which has struggled to be brought to the big screen for years now. The LA Times tells us, however, that Appelles Publishing of Virginia has recently optioned the rights with producers Lawrence Gordon (Live Free or Die Hard, upcoming Watchmen) and Lloyd Levin (upcoming Hellboy II: The Golden Army) at the helm. Does this mean Meg might actually get its 80-foot, 70,000 lb ass off the ground? Unfortunately, it's too early to tell; but it's a good sign, nonetheless.

Meg artThe premise of the story is pretty damn cool: the prehistoric shark mysteriously surfaces from the ocean's deepest gorge (the Mariana Trench) to bother and battle just about everything. Given the monster's sheer size, you can imagine what an interesting situation this could be. Definitely a concept worthy or production, considering some of the other crap Hollywood manages to churn out. Even Primeval got released in theaters, which as some may know is the sucktacular tale of a giant man-eating alligator in Africa.

However, Primeval helps to highlight Meg's key disadvantage: it mainly takes place on the water. And as the Times points out, that's been a huge obstacle for the possible movie over the years, since the aquatic environment isn't budget-friendly. You can read more of the various events that have stalled production, including New Lines' involvement, over here. It's quite tragic to read about all the trouble the book has gone through, including that it was nearly ready to be made by Disney before it was even published, and even 12 years later it's still stuck in production hell.

The article points out that back in 1998, the film was put in turnaround considering Warner Brothers release of Deep Blue Sea. However, there's no mention of the story's timeliness today, or lack of it, really. What other story dealt with a giant creature that arose from the ocean's depths to express some millennia of pent-up energy on modern society? You're right if you guessed Cloverfield. Granted, J.J. Abrams' baby was a much more nuanced project, but the similarity is pretty evident.

So would folks still want to see Meg then? I definitely would. The initial art alone (seen to the right above) is enough to drag me to the theater. Not only that, Alten has penned two follow-ons to the original story, "The Trench," which also became a bestseller, and the 2009-slated, "Meg: Hell's Aquarium" - how campy and creepy does that sound!?! I definitely think this could be a pretty cool series if the higher-ups can work out all the numbers.

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  • Ian Kazimer
    I'm sold on the small, blue picture alone.
  • DCompose
    God damned sharks. I want to see a movie where a bunch of scientists go out and kill every shark in the world. Look at their eyes. I want to kill those eyes. God damned shark eyes.
  • Spider
    Now that's a big a$$ shark! The pictures make me wish this movie would be making its way to theaters real soon!
  • Darius6
    "I'm sold on the small, blue picture alone." Ditto.
  • http://www.trishalyn.com TrishaLyn
    Let's hope it's as good as Jaws and not as bad as Deep Blue Sea when it does get made :)
  • Scorpio
    As long as it doesn't turn into some B-Movie Sci-Fi channel crapfest. Yes I am sold alone on the blue photo also. Is the book "Meg" good?? Be honest.
  • Darrin
    i hope the movie would have the same shark in the pictures.
  • silver
    #6 yes the book is quite good and the science is plausible and believable (on a Jurassic Park level) and I hope this movie does get adapted it could be a kick-ass Imax movie. :)
  • Sinner
    At this point it appears that we have an infinitely long wait, if it even gets made. I break out the "Deep Blue Sea" DVD occasionally & I still enjoy it. Of course, some time has passed & we would need something to surpass that film. To answer your ? Kevin, yes it already has somewhat of a following & people will be interested if, like any movie, it is made well. Good post Kev.
  • DCompose
    Fucking... shark eyes...
  • http://www.firstshowing.net Alex Billington
    Hey, I love Deep Blue Sea! Guilty pleasure of mine... Screw the shark size inconsistencies, screw the bad acting, it was fun! I've been fascinated with sharks forever, and this the same. I'd love to see this get made!
  • nha
    I WANT THIS TOO - a modern day jaws without the cheese level - sweet.
  • Jedi
    Just when we thought it was safe to go back in the water....
  • Traveler
    I also loved DBS, total guilty pleasure - especially that LL Cool J.. But anyway, I love sharks, I'd see this movie. If you're ever in Hawaii you can go on a shark experience boat and get in a cage and watch the sharks swim around you, its insane and totally worth it.
  • Curtis
    Shark movies are bad ass and would love to see this giant shark on the big screen it would be freaking awesome.
  • Ian Kazimer
    Hell yeah for Deep Blue Sea. It was so bad it was great. Plus any movie where I can see Sammy Jackson get ripped in half is good in my book. --IK
  • d
    LOL DCompose's comments in this thread made it worth the read by a longshot.
  • John D.
    That second picture would make a great poster.
  • Avelanch
    I read the book back in the day, it was a great book, and I would love to see a film adaptation of this book. It could be AMAZING. hopefully this gets made, and gets made right.
  • blake b
    wow! i have been waiting to see something about this movie ever since i read the book!! oh yeah, cant wait!!
  • RStewie
    Like a doll's eyes... lol! I'd see it.
  • Yatesy
    Hey I've already seen this film. It's called Shark Attack 3 or maybe 4. The special effects are awesome!
  • Dee
    This is partly in reply to #6, 8, and 19: the book was terrible. It read like a bad, predictable movie script. I would recommend reading it only to see how the author frames the narrative, but it cannot be the framework for the film (if it ever is made) or its sequels (which should be made if the first film is good). There are many reasons why the book should not translate to the screen (it should be adapted), but the main thing I focus on is that the book does not work conceptually: the shark's glow, for instance, would be more of a pain to create on screen with the same effect that the book helps create in one's imagination. The characters are not believable in many instances. The dailogue seems trite and drags on until one just wants the talking to stop. Despite these problems, though, the book has inspired this genre again, so it has played a good role in that respect. Now, this idea should get to screen, but it needs changes. A successful film will focus on things such as seeing parts of the shark (an eye, its mouth and teeth, its dorsal fin, etc.) vs. seeing the whole shark just to see it, tension of keeping the audience in 1-up or 1-down positions in terms of what is happening on screen, and breaking from conventional shark film narratives. The shark needs to be distinguished from what is basically described as a giant great white shark; it needs to be different yet sacre people out of thier seats upon seeing it on the big screen. It needs to get away from the man vs. beast convention--get a woman, maybe Jessica Biel in the condition she had from Stealth, to play the lead. Or get multiple people to "play the lead" to change the genre--it will enhance the story and, with good acting, cause audiences to care about the people on screen. Attack sequences need revision and a "grittiness" that is absent from the crap available in B-movie form on megalodons. This is just the start of what needs to be done to make this film sucessful. This movie has a lot of potential, but if it fails to be better than or at least as good as Jaws, it will deserve all the thrashing that bad reviews can dish out.
  • Josh
    i agree with 23 except on the issue of not showing the entire shark. this is what people want to see. deep blue sea sucked because of the fact that any 6 year old could tell that every shark in the movie was cgi. i think that with todays tech a very realistic and griddy shark can be done. for example take a look at the 2003's "The Hulk" movie in comparison to the lastest 2008 film. in the 2003 film the cgi was terrible, it almost looked like the hulk was made from plastic or some kind of rubber lol. but in the 2008 film the cgi went through the roof taking the realism to a whole nother level. i also think that the film should begin with The Trench, maybe give references to "Meg" throughout the storyline in the form of flashbacks or watever. but i really think that The Trench had a more intense and gripping plot. i liked the characters and i like the intesity. it would be amazing to see good actors and good shark scenes all in one. and just got one more request. maybe after the credits could we possibly see samuel jackson torn apart again. that would be satisfiying.
  • Dee
    Hi Josh, I certainly don't think the whole shark should not be shown. I mean that it should not be shown just for the sake of showing the whole shark. There will be instances when the whole thing will need showing, but it will have a purpose, not just to demonstrate excellent computer graphics. Size can be used to an advantage in the film, such as when the reporter in the first book is in the shark tube, but it should not be used so much that the shark's size takes away from the effect on screen. Check out all the films you've seen that take place underwater or win/in the ocean, and think about how elements of those films would work well into scaring the crap outta people interms of this shark's appearance. Again, this film has so much potential to be good that it is easy to see how it can all be screwed up by bad stroytelling--in terms of the acting, story direction, or visual narrative. The Trench had more going for it, but in my opinion, that only lasted a short while into the book. It became rather silly, then ridiculous, then tedious, then frustrating to get through. It also has, I would say, too much going on that takes the focus away from the shark and places it on a stupid plot involving Osama bin Laden and an ego-crazed rich guy. But this is the main problem of the would-be movie: the story needs to be good, not the same old, same old or flat-out ridiculous. The film needs to be scary, not predictable. Maybe a Trench-lite movie could work. Yet that just opens a bunch of problems that are best avoided. A big problem is selling audiences on the idea that a shark as big as the one on the cover of Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror will desire humans more than larger living things. Why make it attack in such a crazed manner? How intelligent is it? Is there more than one? What would be the benefit of it glowing? One truth about this would-be film is that is would have to be distant from the book. A film of the book would be a disaster.
  • John
    Dee , if the book was terrible, why was it a best seller? A shark movie nowadays has to be made with imagination. The details are the " juice " of the movies. I disagree with you once more, when you say "A film of the book would be a disaster", not necessarily, with the right producer and director , it may become one of the best movies ever made .
    • GREENMANN25
      i AGREE WITH JOHN THE MOVIE SHOULD BE MADE AS IT IS IN THE BOOK NOT WORD FOR WORD BUT JUST LIKE JAWS WAS MADE. IF YOU GO TO http://WWW.STEVEALTEN.COM YOU CAN SEE WHAT IT IS EXACTLY HE WANTS TO DO WITH THE STORY LINE. ALSO THE BOOK IS AND HAS BEEN IN A GOOD STATUS. YOU SHOULD NOT ALWAYS BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ. AND THE ONLY REASON WHY PEOPLE TO THIS DAY STILL SUPPORT THE WAR ON TERROR IS 1. US MILITARY ARE STILL HERE IN AFGHANISTAN AND OTHER COUNTRIES AND 2. THEY ATTACKED US 1ST. JAWS WAS WRITTEN AS A FILM BOOK AND LOOK HOW IT HAS DONE TIL THIS VERY DAY BOOK OR MOVIE WITH MINOR CHANGES DONE TO THE MOVIE VERSION
  • Dee
    Dear John, On a different scale, you are asking, "If the 'war on terror' was so wrong, why did many Americans support it?" The point you are making is dependent on the belief that just becasue the book sold a lot of copies grants it "good book status," which it certainly has not earned. The slippery slope you have posed only highlights that people, sometimes, do not act in their best interests. In this case, the book was hyped and was given the benefit of the doubt; that does not mean it was ever a good book. I think you agree with my asserion that the movie, if it becomes one, has to be done well. With out the "juice," it will be no good. I challenge you to demonstrate how a film of the book as it is written will be successful. It does not matter if the best director in the world (whoever that is) directs it: if it is a copy of the book or close enough to it, the film will be terrible. However, the burden of proof is on you to back up your claim that "with the right producer and director , it may become one of the best movies ever made," which would be a tall order, given that the best shark film ever made, Jaws, does not rank even close to this category. Sorry, but while I liked select scenes in the first book, the overall text was terrible. It is very telling that the majority of positive reviews for this text comes from children, who have yet to learn the difference between writing a crappy story and showing it visually. As well, adult reviewers who like it regard it as a quick read at a beachfront somewhere, which tells anyone that a serious treatment of it on screen would have to endure far more scrutiny.
  • Bo
    Ok, so I know I am late on the replies, but Dee.... what was the last blockbuster film you made again? Or the last New York Times bestseller you wrote? Also, please keep in mind that the people who are the biggest movie-goers are in the age group of 12 to 15, and though Hollywod has ruined many a possible wonderful movie by making it PG-13 rather than R for the sake of that audience, those kids are the ones who pay Hollywood's bills. Sad, but true. Maybe you should rally all your friends up and go to as many R rated films as you can, and maybe you can boost that demographic. If you do that, you might see what you are wanting. And, quite frankly, with all the remakes that Hollywood vomits at us each year, I would welcome a crappy book that makes an original movie. If you have happened to make a blockbuster film or written a New York Times bestseller, way to go you, and I will shut my mouth. If not, don't feel bad: neither have I or most of the world.
  • Dee
    Bo, Bo, Bo... Why must you resort to logical fallacies? What does your red herring have to do with the fact that a version of Alten's terribly written book on screen would ruin what chance this has of being a great film? If you let go of your emotional attachment to this story, you may see more clearly here. But you need not make arguments that have nothing to do with the case being made--that any film version of this story has to be very different from the book to be good. If the requirement for offering an inofrmed commentary on books or films was writing a "blockbuster film" or a "New York Times bestseller," there would be very few comments. That would create a privileged class of people who, through legitimate or illegitimate means, would have gained ascendency to the right of "opinion status." Happily, there are clear-thining people in this world who do not want that kind of society and recognize it for the ridiculousness that it is. Again, you need not resort to silly comments to defend this book. All you need to say is that you like it and want to see a film based on it. That will be a generic statement, but it is the best thing you have going. I do not know where you are going with your "age group" comment, but it is your opinion that it matters here. You are welcome to your opinion, but it just is not a very good one. By that, I mean to point out when you say, "[W]ith all the remakes that Hollywood vomits at us each year, I would welcome a crappy book that makes an original movie." First, this is a very general statement: I think most people here would want to see an "original movie" about a giant shark. But this leads to the second point, which is that this would not be an original movie. Do you know how many megalodon B-movies there are and how bad they are? Start counting, Bo. Third, you assume that this proposed film would be any different. Well, if ti is anything like the book, it would be as much "vomit" as anything else. And to "sell vomit" to children for the sake of making money, which seems to be what you are advocating, is just manipulative. The main thing I would recommend is think about your statements before making them, being particular to avoid emotional claims that are weighed down by fallacies. Whatever you like about the book would need serious revision to make it to the screen.
  • http://yahoo.com abe
    I love shark. i always have fun to play with them...
  • http://www.firstshowing.net Austin K
    i like sharks.... i just wish all of this stuff was for real!!!!
  • Dee
    A good film that is translated from this book could do that, but if any film does not convey a very real sense of fear and life-threatening consequences for audiences (which it could quite easlity, given the effort is put into the storytelling), the film will flop like any of the B-movies on this subject.
  • Trever
    I think that the book could not be compared to Benchleys Jaws in talking about how much of a bestseller it is but i still liked it for the action and the basic subject matter. I think that it would be wonderful to see a robotic shark rather than some cgi pull-off and before anyone rips my head off in saying that a giant scaled robotic meg would cost thousands, what i really mean is maybe a small scale model of the head, tale, etc in the case of showing the small parts of the shark that Dee was talking about. Im sorry to any computer buffs out there but CGI erks me- you can tell its computerised and fake. Jaws works because its robotic in comparison to movies like deep blue sea (sam jackson getting munched on by a couple of makos) where it simply doesn't. Whoever pointed out that the book reads like a movie script i completly agree with, which is why i trust Mr Alten should be able to come out with a pretty good one at that. Hopefully he wont go too scientific with the story because that would really stuff up the whole show
  • Dee
    CGI has improved a lot and is going to get better (The Lord of the Rings is a good example of this as well as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe). Bad CGI really is horrible (as in Deep Blue Sea). I'd like to see a really good Megalodon movie, perhaps *inspired* from these storylines. But the movies have to be a lot better, which they can be. But it is unfortunate that film studios have a tendency to care more about profits than good stories.
  • katie
    STOP MAKING SHARKS LOOK MEAN!! THEY ARE NOT MEAN CREATURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Dee
    Katie, you make a good point that underscores assumptions about the shark genre. It presumes the sterotype of Jaws and encourages people to be afraid of them. This is something that would negate this type of film, and I can hardly disagree with you on that. Sharks are not tame and have attacked people, but that is a far cry from the horrible vision of sharks in film. I suppose the idea that it would be a fictional story would encourage me to justify its film narrative, but I cannot or will not dispute your point. Sharks are what they are, period: creatures of the natural world, empowered by evolution to do what they do. There is no reason to associate human characteristics of pathology or inhuman acts with creatures that do not share the mores of humans. And it is not helpful to understanding sharks and large creatures by having them act in ways unlike their natural behavior, such as purposely seeking to eat people when there are far more appropriate food sources in the ocean. They are easy targets for manufactured fear. Perhaps the desire to impose one's fear and anxieties on another living thing is a fault that we are all guilty of and contribute toward the "personification of evil" that sharks have been attributed in the human dreamscape.
  • scomo
    Dee, Reading your stupid psycho babble is fucking annoying. Do yourself a favor and blow your head off you dumb alien mustard tiger
  • Dee
    scomo, How long have you been licking the insides of dirty toilets? It would explain the brilliant commenting ability you demonstrated on August 3, 2009. Or maybe you are just a coward who is unable to articulate a coherent thought outside of being a moron. Or maybe you are Steve Alten posing as "scomo." Anyone who thinks can see that my comments are not "stupid psycho babble." Perhaps you can clarify what you mean by that. Of course, you probably are a coward that cannot articulate a coherent thought. Did I just state that? Hmmm. It must be worth mentioning again. If what I state is "fucking annoying," perhaps you should 1) present an alternative perspective that is worth presenting, 2) stop reading what "fucking annoys" you, 3) stop reading altogether since you seem to lack basic critical thinking skills, or 4) stop being a coward that cannot articulate a coherent thought. Why should I "blow my head off"? I am successfully encouraging the idiots such as "scomo" to post brilliant comments here. I would encourage you to think about what you posted, but I doubt your ability to think. "[D]umb alien mustard tiger"...really, how long have you been licking the insides of dirty toilets? Any time you have something worth posting, you should try it. It is a good thing to write a response with a modicum of coherence. But if you are just going to lick toilets and, then, post a response, give yourself some time to let the effects of the crap you digested to wear off so you do not appear like a coward that cannot articulate a coherent thought.
  • scomo
    Haha. That was awesome. But that still doesn't change the fact that it is unbearable reading your lengthy bullshit. Don't ran. If you can't make your point in one or two paragraphs, then either your writing skills need work, or you're overly enamored of your own opinions. That is why I call you a dumb mustard tiger, you dumb mustard tiger. I look forward to hearing from you again in three months when you have finished proofreading your own bullshit when responding to this message.
  • Dee
    Poor scomo, "Haha. That was awesome." Perhaps this is entertaining for anyone seeing what a fool you are making of yourself, horribly attacking the person and not dealing with the issue. "But that still doesn't change the fact that it is unbearable reading your lengthy bullshit." Apparently, the only one for who it is "unbearable" and "bullshit" is you. Hence, you are the problem. I suggest thinking next time you post. Try responding to the article or to any one of the points anyone or I have brought up. Pathetic ad hominem attempts like your just highlight what you lack in substance. I challenge you to focus on the points of discussion in the story or the comments: can you do that? "Don't ran." Apparently, don't check your spelling--your message is worth its weight in dirty toilets. "If you can't make your point in one or two paragraphs, then either your writing skills need work, or you're overly enamored of your own opinions." The problem with either-or fallacies like this is that you have nothing else to say and just want to rely on emotional taunts. Likewise, your assumption about writing lacks credibility--what grade are you in? You seem to be too defensive about a book at is not worth defending. But try defending it if you can. Since you cannot, though, you will try your hand at more fallacies. Good luck with that. "That is why I call you a dumb mustard tiger, you dumb mustard tiger." You forgot "alien" in there. I think you are in the sixth grade. Yes, this sounds like the workings of a sixth grader--or Steve Alten. "I look forward to hearing from you again in three months when you have finished proofreading your own bullshit when responding to this message." Again, I invite you to try your hand at actually responding with a valid comment or question about the story or posts here. If you cannot, expect to waste your time on pitiful insults that are just distraction. But I suppose you cannot accept that fact that you are defending the indefensible--a book that is not worth your time and a film that would likely be in the same league.
  • scomo
    You're a fucking idiot.
  • Dee
    scomo the unfortunate, "You're a fucking idiot." I challenge you to post something meaningful toward the purpose of this long list of comments. It seems that the only person who likes to hear himself or herself--with nothing but pathetic attempts at insulting someone else--is you. Come back when you have something meaningful to say. Good luck with that.
  • walter
  • http://www.lwezacrafts.com installation art
    lol
  • Greenmann25
    I wish Steve Alten would see what Dee had to say about him. It sound to me like this person who probably has not accomplished anything meaningful in their life or had parents that criticized them their whole life. Look I get the whole blog thing, But unless you have achieved Steve Alten's status or better, or for that fact you are a producer I would seriously reconsider giving anyone advice on how they should tell their story. It is his story to tell not yours. As for the personal attacks on how someone types or spells is childish everyone is not the same and making fun of someone for their short comings is very immature. I am by means taking side here but Dee you offer your opinion way to much on here. Since you think your an expert on books and movies maybe you should write your own/ make your own movie. I think and this is in my own opinion you should learn your place in this world and keep your opinions to yourself cause no one cares about yours. An no i am not Steve. If i was i would not waste my time reading your stupid comments or remarks about people you don't know. I am a soldier deployed in afghanistan with nothing better to do besides fighting the war on terror so the likes of you don't have to. So next time you make a comment maybe your the 1 that should pay attention to what you post. Then again I don't expect you or anyone to understand what it means to have to fight for anything unless you have been in my shoe's.
  • Figure88
    You guys do know this megalodon was a real animal don't you? Maybe not quite the exaggerated size as portrayed in the movie but apparently like 60 feet long for real. They made some replica jaws of it - you can see on megalodonteeth.com.
  • http://www.facebook.com/Wickedlady101 Tabitha Beaudin
    On Alten's site he says that Meg 5 won't be released until the movie is released that he wants to release them together.....so I am hoping that means the movie is a go again!

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