The giant shark thriller The Meg was one of this summer’s biggest box office surprises. While the movie, which stars Jason Statham, was expected to do well, it far exceeded industry predictions and made more than $521 million at the worldwide box office. It has now been confirmed that the sequel is in development.
As reported by Variety, producer Catherine Xujun Ying told attendees at the US-China Entertainment Summit in LA that a follow-up to The Meg is “definitely the plan.” Xujun Ying went to state that “it’s still very early stages right now, but we’re working or starting to work on it. We’d like to keep it a secret at this time.” The Meg is the most successful US/Chinese co-production ever made, and Variety states that there are also plans for theme park attractions based on the movie in China.
There is plenty of existing material that filmmakers can dip into for a second film. Steve Alten’s novel, on which the movie is based, is the first of five books. In a recent interview with Slashfilm, Meg director Jon Turtletaub spoke about the challenges of making a sequel. “We have a whole series of books with a whole series of ideas, so there’s all kinds of stuff in there to do,” he said. “Jaws becomes a template of things to do and not do. The sequels to Jaws very quickly became real stretches to try to find another way to do this movie.”
“Part of [the problem] is in your first movie, there’s the mystery of what it is,” he continued. “And by the time you get to your second movie, you don’t have that. And you can very quickly go too big, too fast. Unless you have something bigger. And then you need something big and next thing you know there’s a movie called Super Megalodon Versus Super Duper Megalodon. And no one wants to see that.”
In related news, Statham will next be seen in the Fast and Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw. The film sees Statham and Dwayne Johnson reprise their roles from the last couple of Fast & Furious movies, and it hit theaters next August. Last month, Johnson revealed a moody new image from the production.