The Meg star Jason Statham wishes the film had more gore and fewer jokes
If I were to tell you that there is a new movie about a massive prehistoric shark terrorizing a beach resort and that it stars Jason Statham—the burly and bald actor of Crank fame—you might assume it to be a schlocky, campy, last-dregs-of-the-summer B-movie blockbuster, right? And you would no doubt be prepared to run to the theater, perhaps after taking an edible, because a PG-13 movie about a 75-foot shark battling a ruggedly handsome British man with perpetual scruff and scowl is the kind of low-stakes, good-natured, bad-good summertime movie, right?
This is not the vibe, apparently, that Statham had in mind when he signed up for The Meg, the action-thriller about an ancient, presumed extinct creature known as a Megalodon for which the film gets its title. (It's not, sadly, about a shark named Megan.) While any casual filmgoer would rightfully consider the movie, based on its plot and its trailer, to be "stupid trash, but in a fun way," Statham himself is a little bummed that it didn't take a grittier, R-rating approach to the notably serious and prestigious genre of Shark Attack Movies.
In an interview with Collider, Statham reveals that there were many tonal changes from the original script he agreed to and what audiences will see when The Meg hits theaters this weekend—which is to be expected, as the film was in development for two decades and finished shooting two years ago:
"Scripts totally different. There was so many different … sometimes you just go, “How did it happen? How did it go from this to this to this to that?” You just can’t keep a track on it. I guess if you have the control to keep it a certain way you would, but you don’t. They have a movie to make. They have so many people deciding on what action stays and what scenes stay."
"I’m, you know. I’m just saying it was radically different. I guess in some ways your imagination and your own perception of what it’s going to be is its worst enemy. Just because you should always try and not narrow that down and imagine what you want it to be and just go for the ride. John’s interpretation of this is a fun end of summer [movie]. It’s full of humor. It’s a little bit more directed to a different taste of what my own is in terms of I like more gory adult stuff. I’m a lot older but I can’t speak for what this film could possibly speak to a younger audience."
At the end of the day, the filmmakers wanted kids to see The Meg, too. And while that's all fine and good, Statham bemoans the final cut's woeful lack of violence and gore. "You go, 'Where’s the fucking blood?'" Statham says. "It’s like, 'There’s a shark.'"