As much as the marketing seems to have embraced the campy ridiculousness of mega-shark creature feature The Meg, star Jason Statham is perhaps a bit disillusioned with what the movie he’d signed on for has become.
In an interview with Collider, Statham all but lamented The Meg’s lack of gory effects and hardcore seriousness. Apparently much has changed over the course of the film’s multi-year production cycle.
So what exactly changed? According to Statham, “A lot. Scripts totally different. There was so many different … sometimes you just go, ‘How did it happen? How did it go from this to this to this to that?’ You just can’t keep a track on it.” To be fair, between when Statham signed on to the film and now, it’s been over two years. A lot can happen then. But Statham liked the original vision.
“I guess if you have the control to keep it a certain way you would, but you don’t. They have a movie to make. They have so many people deciding on what action stays and what scenes stay,” Statham said. “In the end they want to put something at the beginning. The whole thing at the beginning where I do a rescue on a sub? That was not in the script that I read. That was all brand-new stuff, good or bad.”
And even the good stuff, well, it blindsided the star after he entered the project with a certain idea in mind. “Yeah, but there was other stuff at the beginning that was … I’m, you know. I’m just saying it was radically different,” Statham said. “I guess in some ways your imagination and your own perception of what it’s going to be is its worst enemy. Just because you should always try and not narrow that down and imagine what you want it to be and just go for the ride.”
That’s because, like it or not, “[Director Jon Turteltaub]’s interpretation of this is a fun end-of-summer [movie]. It’s full of humor. It’s a little bit more directed to a different taste of what my own is in terms of I like more gory adult stuff,” Statham said. “I’m a lot older, but I can’t speak for what this film could possibly speak to a younger audience.” In reference to wanting a hard-R shark movie, Statham was focused on the practical concerns: “Yeah, but you go, ‘Where’s the fu**ing blood?’ It’s like, ‘There’s a shark.’”
That bled (ha!) over into Statham’s experiences making the film, during which he described himself as becoming more critical than usual — questioning the usage of CGI and the amount of gore. Wait, does anyone else really want to see Statham’s version of The Meg now?
The Meg takes its adjusted tone to theaters starting tomorrow, August 10.