Look, we know: We forgot about The Meg, too. In a world of political strife, global pandemics, and general, all-purpose clusterfuckery, keeping track of one big-ass supershark can feel like more than the human mind can manage. But The Meg definitely happened, and it definitely made more than half a billion dollars at the box office, and now it’s definitely getting a sequel that Ben Wheatley is going to direct. Of course, we could have guessed that Wheatley was going to helm this one; after all, he just got done directing an adaptation of Rebecca, a book that begins with that most famous of introductory lines: “Last night I dreamt I went to Megashark again.”
Wheatley’s addition to the Meg franchise was reported by THR, which also notes that Jason Statham and most of the rest of the first film’s shark-hunting team will return for the sequel. Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, and Erich Hoeber, who were all credited on the first film, have also all worked on the script for the second; no word yet on whether they’ll be pulling any material from the—wait, really? Jesus—seven sequel novels that author Steve Alten has added to the original The Meg. (At some point you have to run out of shark shit to write about, right? Maybe The Meg finally settles down and gets an office job.) The THR report notably didn’t contain confirmation of previous assertions that the film would be a direct adaptation of Alten’s second Meg book, The Trench.
Outside the obvious lure of big money, big sharks, and big getting-to-hang-out-with-Jason-Statham time, it’s not clear precisely what Wheatley—who’s charted a distinctly idiosyncratic career path over the last decade—sees in this particular project. It’s the second studio action sequel he’s signed on for in the last year or so, having previously lent his name to the second Alicia Vikander Tomb Raider film. It’s a pretty far cry from the personal, intensely weird films like Kill List and A Field In England that first made his name as a director, but hey, we get it: Sometimes you just want to see a guy fight a giant shark.