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Filming scenes on or near water is notoriously difficult. Steven Spielberg's Jaws has become famous for the technical problems that it faced during its own production, and while technology has improved in the shark genre, there were still tough issues that The Meg director Jon Turteltaub had to face as he shot on the beach. Specifically, it turns out that the extras on the film had way more fun escaping the giant shark than he wanted to convey on camera. In a recent interview, the National Treasure director explained:
The first thing you do is you hire people with bullhorns to yell in Mandarin at people so that you don't have to. But believe it or not, the hardest thing when you tell a thousand people to swim for their lives because the sharks coming, 500 of them start giggling and smiling, and editing around all those goofy faces and smiles turns out to be a lot harder than I thought.
Despite a generally offbeat tone and a fun sensibility, The Meg definitely still takes its particular brand of carnage and horror seriously. The film plays its shark-based scares with a straight face, and the moments in which the enormous shark attack humans on a remote Chinese beach are played for the horror that they embody. That was what Jon Turteltaub was going for as he shot these sequences on the beach and, as he explained in his recent interview with Syfy Wire, the extras who acted in these scenes seemed to get caught up in the fun of the whole ordeal, thus creating character breaks that he had to edit around.
Of course, these remarks open up the debate of what will happen if the folks behind The Meg decide that they want to return to the property for another installment. No sequel has been confirmed yet, but in a recent interview with CinemaBlend, Jon Turtletaub also noted that a good sequel wouldn't merely introduce a bigger shark for the wise-cracking Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) to fight. With that in mind, maybe making sure the next film (if it happens at all) doesn't go near the beach would be an excellent way to keep things fresh while also preventing any of those editing issues.
The Meg is now in theaters and offering up an unexpectedly strong box office haul in the process. Head over to our full review if you want to know everything that we here at CinemaBlend think of the film, and then read our review roundup to get a better sense of opinions from all over the web. Beyond that, you can also head over to our comprehensive movie premiere guide to stay in-the-loop on all of the significant release dates on the horizon in 2018!