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Jason Statham in The Meg

As one would have expected from when it was first announced that Jason Statham would star in a movie where he fought a giant shark, 2018’s The Meg was a wild, action-packed ride, and it did quite well for itself as the box office. As such, it was announced a few months after the movie’s release that The Meg 2 was in development, although it seemed to be dead in the water, for lack of a better term for some time. It's been a while since there was any notable updates on the sequel’s progress, but news broke this week that The Meg 2 is finally happening with Jason Statham.

That changed today, with The Hollywood Reporter revealing that Ben Wheatley has been tapped to direct The Meg 2. Should you be unfamiliar with Wheatley’s directorial work, you can watch his latest movie, Rebecca, on Netflix now, and his other notable credits include Kill List, A Field in England, High-Rise and Free Fire. Wheatley’s quite comfortable in the realms of black comedy and psychological thrillers, and now we get to see he can do with a story about a giant shark wreaking havoc.

Ben Wheatley succeeds National Treasure’s Jon Turteltaub, who directed the first Meg movie. Wheatley will be working off a script most recently tackled by Jon and Erich Hoeber, with Dean Georgaris writing the initial draft (all three are credited as writers on The Meg). Naturally Jason Statham will reprise the role of Jonas Taylor, a rescue diver and shark expert, and THR’s article also noted he is “creatively involved” with the project.

The Meg followed a group of scientists who clashed with a 75-foot-long megalodon shark during the course of a rescue mission at the floor of the Pacific Ocean. The movie ended with the megalodon being killed, but evidently another one of these creatures lurks in Earth’s oceans if we’re getting a sequel. Jason Statham’s cast-mates on the first movie included Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose and Winston Chao, though it’s unclear which of the surviving supporting characters will be back for The Meg 2, if any of them.

So when can we expect to see The Meg 2? That’s hard to say, especially now that Ben Wheatley’s involved. In September 2019, it was reported that he’d been hired to direct Tomb Raider 2, which is being written by his wife/creative partner Amy Jump, and was once scheduled to arrive on March 19, 2021. Of course, that release date was chosen before the current health crisis meddled with the film industry, so one should expect the next adventure starring Alicia Vikander’s Lara Croft to arrive much later than anticipated.

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Nevertheless, assuming Ben Wheatley is still attached to Tomb Raider 2, is that being prioritized or The Meg 2? Considering that The Meg made a much commercial bigger splash than Tomb Raider did, perhaps that’ll give The Meg 2 the edge, but for now, it’s unclear. In any case, for those of you who’d wondered if The Meg 2 had perhaps been quietly shelved, now there’s evidence to the contrary.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more news on how The Meg 2 is progressing, and learn what movies are intended to hit theaters next year in our 2021 release schedule.

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