Meg Movie Might Still Live?
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.
The 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.