"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."
—Muriel Rukeyser

Of Course, The Meg 2 Director Learned From Jaws While Making The Shark Flick, And His Description Of Steven Spielberg’s Age When He Did It Is Sticking With Me

Jason Statham in Meg 2: The Trench and Steven Spielberg on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, pictured side by side.
(Image credit: Warner Bros/CBS)

When drawing inspiration for a movie like Meg 2: The Trench, it helps to seek out the classics. So naturally, director Ben Wheatley considered the entertainments of the classic summer blockbuster Jaws as he looked for lessons on what to do with his own entry into the aquatic horror-comedy canon. What’s even more interesting to read is how Wheatley described director Steven Spielberg when he made the 1975 movie, which is undoubtedly an explanation that’s going to stick with me for a while. 

During an interview with Slashfilm promoting the Jason Statham-fronted sequel, the High Rise director put a lot of influences on the table. That led to this rundown of where his inspirations came from, including a portrait of Spielberg that most people probably forgot.

Yeah, I mean, obviously I’m a fan of the Kaiju stuff and a fan of Gojira and then the later cycle of Godzilla movies like the ’70s stuff as well, and Harryhausen, Jason and the Argonauts, all that stuff. Obviously Jaws, which is not just a shark film, but one of the greatest films ever made for me. And a film I revisit a lot and re-watch, it’s a film that is a film school in itself. And to see that [Steven Spielberg] did it when he was 26 or whatever disgustingly young age he made that movie at, which is basically inventing it and so much stuff. I definitely looked at that.

At this point in his career, we see Steven Spielberg as the classic hit-maker who dances between dramas and blockbusters. However, people may forget the stories of how a young Spielberg bluffed his way onto the Universal lot, eventually paving the way to direct Jaws at the tender age of 26.

I’ll give you all a moment to sink into a rabbit hole dissecting what you were doing at that point in life, as that’s clearly what Ben Wheatley did during his Meg 2 prep. Also, I’m totally falling into that trap myself at the moment. 

While I might not agree with the words “disgustingly young,” I do co-sign the fact that Spielberg invented the modern summer blockbuster. At the same time, try not coming with your own shocked nickname when watching the trailer for Jaws and remembering that it was directed by a 26-year-old.

Reading the various behind-the-scenes facts on Jaws that have been revealed over time backs that claim, as well as the fact that Mr. Wheatley’s claim that the Indiana Jones helmer was pretty much making it up with his crew as they went along. Not to mention, he was sinking ships with his actors on board long before it was cool... or totally intentional and safe.

Making a movie like Meg 2: The Trench isn’t as risky in this age, as directors like Ben Wheatley now have all the practical models and CGI effects their budget will allow. Reading how much Wheatley was looking to Jaws for inspiration, it totally explains the kickass jet ski scene with Jason Statham, and how it too involved some practical magic itself.

It just goes to show that no matter what age you are, you can be inspired to pull some stunts that even the masters themselves would be proud of. You can see such delights pretty easily, as Meg 2: The Trench is still in theaters, but you can also rent it on PVOD if you’d rather enjoy it in the comfort of your own home. Meanwhile, if you have got the urge to revisit Jaws and/or its handful of sequels, those of you with a Netflix subscription can do just that.

via Cinemablend

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