47 Meters Down: Uncaged, the sequel to 2017's surprisingly successful shark thriller, takes things up a notch in most ways. Instead of trapping its two stars in a sunken shark cage, the new film traps four women in a sprawling, submerged cave complex, where they're hunted by giant, blind cave sharks. But, Uncaged is not bigger than the original in one super-obvious way: Numerically.
It's not called "48 Meters Down" — and if you're upset about this whiffed opportunity, you're not alone.
"I actually wanted to call it that," Johannes Roberts tells SYFY WIRE with a laugh. Roberts, who directed the original 47 Meters Down as well as the new sequel, explains that the film was called "48 Meters Down" while they were filming it, at least.
"It was on the clapper board," he says. "I insisted that we call it that. I couldn't spend the whole bloody movie — because you shorten everything — so 47 Meters Down: Uncaged became 47 Meters Down, and I couldn't be talking to someone about 47 Meters Down and have them go 'well, which one are you talking about?'"
Roberts isn't the only person who was Team 48 Meters. The film's two stars wanted that to be the title as well.
"Oh my gosh, yes, we did," Sophie Nélisse says, briefly noting that the moniker doesn't really match the film. "It kind of relates to the first one, but the whole story is much different. We're not in a cage, and we're not getting out of a cage, so the fact that it's 'Uncaged' refers to the first one, which is a whole different thing. We were all rooting for '48 Meters Down,' so we're all sort of bummed."
"We had a big debate over that," co-star Corinne Foxx adds.
"And also, people that have not seen the first one will feel like they have to see the first one to see the second one, which is not true," Nélisse says.
Ultimately, Roberts says the film's marketing team made the change, out of a worry that "Americans, in particular, wouldn't associate the brand."
At one point, the subtitle was going to be "The Next Chapter," before ultimately everyone settled on "Uncaged."
Even so, there was almost an explicit reference to 48 meters in the movie.
"I don't think we ever shot it, but at one point in the script, [the divers] go down 48 meters," Roberts says. "So, that was going to be the thing."