Those jagged teeth can still send a chill down your spine, and now the last remaining shark model from Steven Spielberg’s 1975 modern classic Jaws is finally getting the respect it deserves.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is currently building a new museum to display all kinds of cool collectibles and memorabilia from the history of cinema, and the final Jaws model has made the cut. The model is a fascinating peek into the history of modern effects, and stands up quite well to this day (for the most part). Those shark animatronics were a key part of what made the model so terrifying, and though they looked great on camera, they weren’t quite as unstoppable in real life.
Four mechanical sharks were made for the film’s production, all 25 feet long. The models were designed by legendary production designer Joe Alves (Escape From New York, Jaws 2) and were notoriously finicky (sinking, generally not working, etc.). Three of them were made of latex and deteriorated over the years, though a more sturdy fiberglass model is still around — and that’s the one finally landing in the Academy museum. The model has spent the past several years languishing at Aadlen Brothers Auto Wrecking in Sun Valley, Calif.
With the company closing, the owners have decided to donate the shark to the Academy, so film fans can enjoy it for years to come. It’ll also have some famous company, along with the ruby slippers from Wizard of Oz, and masks from Planet of the Apes. The L.A.-based museum will also feature storyboards, production notes, 62,000 pieces of production art, 12 million photos, 80,000 screenplays and 55,000 posters.