For a brief period in the mid–2000s, Eli Roth was at the forefront of a new generation of genre filmmakers. Instead of breaking out and heading into the studio system, Roth took some acting jobs – most notably one in his pal Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds” – and a six year drought of full-length directed films lasted from 2007’s “Hostel: Part II” until 2013’s TIFF premiere of “The Green Inferno.” With that film finally seeing release this fall and on the heels of his first collaboration with an actual movie star – Keanu Reeves in this year’s “Knock Knock” – Roth is finally getting called up to the big leagues.
Variety reports that the horror director has signed up to direct the long-gestating megalodon – prehistoric killer giant shark – movie “Meg” for Warner Bros. Based on Steve Alten’s 1997 novel, the current iteration of the film will follow “two men who band together to neutralize an ancient shark that’s threatening the [Chinese] coast.” Exactly how long has “Meg” been in some form of development? Well, it was originally set up at Disney before the mouse house got cold feet once the infamous “Deep Blue Sea” proved unsuccessful. Here’s the book synopsis:
Carcharodon megalodon apex predator of all time, the most fearsome creature that ever lived a 70-foot, 60,000 pound Great White Shark. Hundreds of 7-inch serrated teeth filled jaws that could swallow an elephant whole. It could sense its prey miles away, inhaling its scent as it registered the beat of its fluttering heart, and if you ever came close enough to see the monster…it was already too late. For Navy deep-sea submersible pilot Jonas Taylor, it nearly was too late. Years ago, on a top-secret dive seven miles down into the Mariana Trench, Jonas came face to face with an ancient monster everyone believed extinct. Having barely escaped with his life, Jonas must prove to the world that Meg still exists. When an opportunity to return to the trench presents itself, he takes it, intent on returning topside with a 7-inch tooth! But man s presence in this unexplored domain releases one of the sharks from its purgatory, and now Jonas is the only one who can stop it.
If Dean Georgaris’s script is as good as the studio hopes it is and if Roth proves to be a canny choice for the director, then Warner Bros. may potentially have another franchise on their hands as author Alten wrote two more books after the first, creating a “Meg” trilogy. Let’s just hope that Roth is the filmmaker that finally gets the movie made this time.