With the giant shark movie The Meg looking to make a splash at the box office this weekend, we're hearing more and more about the R-rated version of this movie that might have been. The theatrical cut of The Meg is rated PG-13, the ideal rating to appeal to everyone and maximize audiences for the late summer blockbuster. However, from conception to release, this film became less bloody than it might have been. One person who seems to have preferred that version is the star of The Meg, Jason Statham. With regards to how the movie changed from the time he signed on to the final cut, Jason Statham had some blunt thoughts, saying:
Yeah, but there was other stuff at the beginning that was ... 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.
Well, let it never be said that Jason Statham is only going to give the PR friendly take on his projects. Speaking with Collider, he certainly seems to lament the bloodier, more adult version of this movie that could have been. As he said, he prefers a more adult film with perhaps less humor than the fun and funny end of the summer film that Jon Turteltaub put together. Beyond just being his own tastes, it sound like the movie wound up being much different than what Stathaam imagined it would be when he signed on. When that perception doesn't match up with reality, it can be disappointing, and that seems to be the case here. Jason Statham isn't saying that he dislikes the film, just that he prefers more adult fare and The Meg turned out much different than he had in mind.
Of course, Jason Statham understands the business reasoning behind the four-quadrant approach and making this movie appeal to a greater number of people. But Jason Statham highlighted how toning down the gore doesn't necessarily make sense given that this is a movie about a giant shark eating people, saying:
Yeah but you go, 'Where's the fucking blood?' It's like, 'There's a shark.'
He makes a fair point. A more realistic approach would see a lot of blood in this scenario, possibly making the shark and the film scarier in the process. Of course, this is a movie about a prehistoric shark terrorizing modern oceans, so realism is relative. He's not alone in his desire for a bit more gore in this movie. Some people and reviewers feel that The Meg should have been more serious. On the other hand, some think it should have been less serious and for others it was just right. Even we here at CinemaBlend didn't all agree.
As far as the R-rated cut that director Jon Turteltaub has talked up, saying it would have resulted in funnier, gorier and bloodier film, we'll probably never see it since a lot of the more grisly stuff was cut before VFX was finished. Even then, it sounds like some of the darker stuff from the original script was never even filmed.
You can catch The Meg in theaters now. Check out our guide for all the biggest movies still to come this year, and for all the latest in why more is more when it comes to blood and giant sharks, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.