There was a time when giant-monster movies were somewhat mainstream. These days they pretty much just go straight to the Syfy channel. Sure, every now and then a Jurassic World or a Godzilla sneaks out into the wild, but for the most part people, and studios, just don't take the genre of man vs. really big animal very seriously. When Sharknado and Sharktopus can be made for next to nothing and still be super popular, why bother spending top dollar for a wide, theatrical-worthy movie?
Maybe that's why Meg has had such a hard time getting made. It's been nearly 20 years since Steve Alten wrote his first book about a prehistoric, tyrannosaurus-eating megalodon shark that gets discovered still living at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Various filmmakers have all tried to make it happen, but it's failed to ever escape the swirling vortex that is Hollywood development hell. Speed director Jan de Bont was on it at some point; so were horror lovers Guillermo del Toro and Eli Roth. But all of those attempts were missing one crucial ingredient: Jason Statham.
Granted they were also missing a ton of funding from a new Chinese production company, but we like to think Jason Statham was the key here. He's just been cast in a version of Meg that will be directed by Jon Turteltaub. It's fun to imagine it's because someone at Warner Bros. saw 3 Ninjas recently and was like, "Bring me John Turteltaub!" But more likely it's because Turtletaub has a good track record when it comes to adventure movies, with the National Treasure series being his biggest hit.
The Rundown and White House Down screenwriter James Vanderbilt has written the most recent draft of the project. It's probably changed substantially over the years and doesn't really resemble Alten's original book much anymore, but as long as it has a gigantic shark and Jason Statham ready to make it extinct, we'll be happy. And hopefully it becomes its own franchise. We want to see this thing survive long enough to adapt the fourth book in the series, the amazingly titled Meg 4: Hell's Aquarium.