Ben Wheatley is about to take a swim.
The director of such varied projects as Sightseers and Netflix’s new Rebecca remake has been hired by Warner Bros. to direct The Meg 2, a follow-up to the studio’s 2018 giant shark movie. Star Jason Statham is expected to return to lead the cast once again, but man…Ben Wheatley directing a big-budget studio shark film? What an odd choice.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ben Wheatley is going to be The Meg 2 director. The British filmmaker made a name for himself with stylish genre-centric indie movies like 2011’s Kill List (one of the most unsettling films of this century), the psychedelic A Field in England, the drenched-in-mood adaptation of High-Rise, and a frenetic, shootout-filled thriller called Free Fire. For years, he seemed like the type of filmmaker who would be off in a corner, making small, interesting movies that no one else could make.
But over the past couple of years, he’s started to inch closer and closer to the mainstream. Most recently, he directed Netflix’s Rebecca, an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s Gothic romance novel. But while handsomely shot, that didn’t feel like a Ben Wheatley movie. It didn’t have any of his sense of humor or the deranged energy he brought to so many previous projects. And he was also hired to direct Tomb Raider 2, a sequel to the unremarkable film reboot starring Alicia Vikander. That sequel was originally supposed to come out in March of next year. But we haven’t heard much about it since Wheatley was hired to direct it. Is he still involved with the further adventures of Lara Croft, or has he abandoned the video game movie entirely for the shark-infested waters of The Meg 2?
WB has wanted a The Meg sequel ever since the original movie started raking in cash at the worldwide box office. Lucky for them, the novel on which the first film is based has a sequel novel that’s already been published. It’s called The Trench, and here’s the plot synopsis:
Four years after the incident at the Mariana Trench that unleashed a pregnant Megaladon, Jonas Taylor now houses her one surviving offspring at the Tanaka Institute. Deep in debt, Taylor has turned to an eccentric billionaire to help keep the institute afloat. But it doesn’t come without a price. Drawn into a web of deceit and lies, plagued by nightmares of his own death. Taylor must once again face frightening monsters of unimaginable power. Only this time, it’s not just the sharks he has to watch out for.
Dean Georgaris wrote an initial draft of the sequel’s screenplay. And the latest draft was written by Jon and Erich Hoeber. All three of whom have writing credits on the original movie.