For a movie about a shark attacking beachgoers at a summer resort town, there's actually not that much shark footage within Jaws. This came out of necessity rather than by design since the mechanical sharks constructed for the movie kept malfunctioning, but it actually ended up working in Jaws' favor, as it gave the story a much more ominous, Hitchcockian-like tone. 43 years later, movie-making technology has leaped to previously unimaginable heights, and Richard Dreyfuss, who played oceanographer Matt Hooper, believes it would be a good idea for Jaws to be re-released and have the terrorizing shark be a CGI creation. As Dreyfuss put it:
I think they should do it, it would be huge and it would open up the film to younger people. Is that blasphemy? No, no, I don't think so. The technology now could make the shark look as good as the rest of the movie.
As we've seen with the original Star Wars trilogy, it's easy enough to go back into an older movie and add current effects, though that doesn't come without criticism. But Richard Dreyfuss doesn't see updating Jaws with a CGI shark as a problem, a realization he came to after Deadline brought up the idea when interviewing him at the Catalina Film Festival. Dreyfuss also acknowledged that director Steven Spielberg managed to work wonders with Jaws, but given what can be created for the big screen now, it'd be wise for Jaws to get an update so that the shark feels more realistic. In the actor's words:
There are people who say Jaws is a perfect film otherwise and it is amazing what Steven accomplished with the challenges he had. But you're dead-right, I think you're on to something. They should put the money in to CGI [to replace] that beast and make it come alive.
Given how Jaws remains one of the most popular movies of all time, it being re-released certainly would be "huge," and maybe Richard Dreyfuss is right that making the shark all CGI would be more appealing to younger moviegoers who might not have otherwise have checked it out. However, as mentioned earlier, it was the fact that we don't see that much of the shark in Jaws that makes the movie more terrifying. Audiences have to imagine how big this monstrosity is, and sure there a few moments where the shark pops up and it's obvious the thing is man-made, but those don't take from how scary the movie overall. It's one thing to go in and touch up parts of the shark with CGI, but to completely erase the original, practical version is a questionable decision, and one that would almost certainly anger a lot of movie buffs.
If the Jaws franchise is ever rebooted, maybe the new take could feature a CGI shark to fit in among the other blockbusters, but when it comes to the original Jaws, such a decision would be incredibly divisive. In any case, keep up to date with what's heading to theaters over the next year with our 2018 and 2019 release schedules.