By Rick Gonzales | Posted
As they sometimes say, good things come to those who wait. By the time it’s all said and done, it’ll be five years since the original The mega hit the cinemas. And now its sequel, The Meg 2: The Trench down the pike. The first film made more than $530 million for Warner Bros. box office, making it almost a certainty that there would be a follow-up. Hopefully fans of the first film won’t be too upset about the five-year wait.
JASON STATHAM IS BACK FOR THE MEG 2
For the most part, Jason Statham has been box office gold. At last count, the films Statham appears in have grossed over $7.8 billion at the box office with franchises such as Fast and Furious, The Expendablesand the Carrier movies. He was also a surprising comedic success as Rick Ford in Paul Feig’s hugely popular comedy thriller, To spy, and it is said that he returns as an unhinged spy in Spy 2. Thus, his return to Meg 2: The Trench is a welcome sight.
Meg 2: The Trench will see Statham reprising his role as Jonas Taylor, the former rescue diver who became an “ex” while trying to save the crew of a damaged nuclear submarine. This is where he comes face to face with a huge unidentified creature. Although Taylor was able to complete the rescue, he had to leave two crew members trapped in the damaged submarine. Forced to flee, Taylor lost both crew members. Taylor was accused of being a drunken coward by one of the doctors on board, forcing Taylor to quit the salvage company.
Five years later, Taylor is brought to an underwater research facility for a salvage operation after contact is lost with a submarine that was exploring the deepest part of the Mariana Trench. When Taylor arrives, it’s apparent that whatever caused the submarine to stop working in the Mariana Trench is the same thing that caused its problems five years before. They are dealing with the largest shark known to man, the prehistoric Megalodon. Statham will return to the depths of the Mariana Trench in Meg 2: The Trench and his battle will be just as perilous, if not more so.
THE RETURN CAST OF MEG 2
With all the death and destruction seen in The mega, there weren’t many left to move on to a sequel, but there are a few. Join Statham in The Meg 2: The Trench is Taylor’s partner in crime from the novel and the film, James “Mac” Mackreides, played by Cliff Curtis. Curtis has been, and remains, busy with James Cameron and the Avatar films which sees Curtis join the cast as Tonowari in Avatar 2: The Way of the Wateras good as Avatar 3, Avatar 4and Avatar 5.
Also returning from the first film will be Page Kennedy as DJ and Shuya Sophia Cai, who played oceanographer Suyin’s (Li Bingbing) young daughter Meiying. Unfortunately, one star that won’t be returning is Bingbing herself. No reason was given as to why Bingbing is not coming back for the sequel as his character survived in both the novel and the first film.
WHO ARE THE NEWS?
There are a number of new faces that will join Statham, Curtis and the crew to battle the Megalodon. Then again, they could also be configured to be food for sharks. Joining the cast in what’s important for the production is Chinese actor Wu Jing. If the name is unfamiliar to you, shame on you. Jing is the highest-grossing male actor of all time in China. It didn’t come quickly for Jing as the former martial artist turned that skill into a successful film and television career. Jing slowly started his film career with films such as SPL (2005) and 2007 Unseen target. Jing also had a very minor role in the hit 2008 film The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperorwhich starred Brendan Fraser and Jet Li.
After starring for a few years, Jing served as the writer and director of the 2015 semi-hit Wolf Warrior. This concept became a treasure for Jing two years later when he came back with Wolf Warrior IIturning the first film’s $80 million take into an $870 million Chinese box office success.
Since that big breakthrough, Jing’s last seven films have grossed no less than $100 million. Two films, one being China’s all-time record holder The Battle of Changjin Lakeand the other its sequel, The Battle of Changjin II Lake, combined to gross over $1.4 billion at the Chinese box office. Adding Jing to The Meg 2: The Trench is a huge deal.
With Bingbing not returning to her role as Suyin, Sienna Guillory was added to the cast in an undefined role, although it looks like she will be the female co-lead. Guillory was just seen in the movie, Clifford the big red dog. Joining Guillory as another new face is Skyler Samuels along with Sergio Peris-Mencheta and Jing Wu.
WHO RUNS THE SHOW?
Jon Turteltaub directed The mega but will not return to this role. Instead, Ben Wheatley will be seated in the director’s chair. Returning, however, are the three scribes who thrilled the audience in the first mega movie – Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber.
WHAT IS THE MEG 2 PLOT?
Man against shark, again. This time, Jonas and his crew discover that the Megalodon, which has been spawning in the trench for millions of years, is beginning to figure out how to navigate the cool waters above the trench and down to the California coast. While trying to stop the destruction on the West Coast, Jonas must also make another trip to the deepest part of the ocean and once again battle against Earth’s greatest predator.
IS THERE A RELEASE DATE?
The Meg 2: The Trench has already started production. The film began earlier this year at Leavesden Studios outside London and ran until May. Now, production is ending in various outdoor locations located in Asia. If things go according to plan, The Meg 2: The Trench should be released by Warner Bros. on August 4, 2023.
A “BILLION-DOLLAR FRANCHISE?”
If author Meg, author Steve Alten, is successful, it’s only the second film in what he considers a “billion dollar franchise.” “My feeling has always been that this is a billion dollar franchise if done right,” Alten said via Subway. “But to be done well, you had to have the right shark, have the right cast, have the right tone. And Warner Bros has completely nailed it. The producers succeeded. »
With the first movie grossing more than half, Alten might be onto something. While the film series is only in its second film, Alten has put together six novels in the series, with the seventh and last (Meg: Purgatory) is slated for release later this year. So, in his eyes, there is a lot of material to turn into films.
Alten didn’t hold back when he spoke to Metro in 2018 about the potential for a possible franchise. “The thing about the book series is that I just finished book 6, ‘Meg: Generation,’ and each book raises the bar a little more. So if the producers, and Belle Avery especially, I know she will follow the sequels. If they follow the sequels, they won’t have to reinvent the wheel. Because it takes it to new places and introduces new monsters.
Alten then talked about what he thinks makes potential future films appealing. “A lot of people love dinosaurs, and so did I, growing up. But sea creature monsters and dinosaurs are way more fearsome than land creatures. There’s the T-Rex, but that’s about all that. that you really have on the ground. In the ocean you have amazing sea creatures, and I would love to see them all brought back to life.
We are still a year away from it.