With sequels in the works, The Meg eyeing mega-shark theme park expansion

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Oct 31, 2018, 11:29 AM EDT (Updated)

Nothing drives a shark into a feeding frenzy like a little bit of blood. After amassing a surprising amount of returns at the box office, the Jason Statham-starring killer shark movie The Meg is ready to take a bite out of the future. And that future might take many forms, especially now that the Chinese market is fully on board.

According to Variety, the U.S.-China co-production’s team spoke at the U.S.-China Entertainment Summit to talk about the film’s franchise hopes and the doubts many associated with the production had as it was about to hit theaters.

Executive producer Catherine Xujun Ying kicked things off by confirming the sequel plans. “It’s still very early stages right now, but we’re working or starting to work on it. We’d like to keep it a secret at this time,” she said. But a film sequel isn’t all that’s in store for the $500m+ earner. There are plans to develop The Meg-themed amusement parks in China, Ying said. “Hopefully China will have the first Jurassic aquarium,” she said. What does that mean? Hasn’t she watched Jurassic World?

With that comparison now in full swing as a franchise rears its head, it’s worth looking at the source material for the Meg series. Steve Allen wrote five books that producer Belle Avery now owns all the rights for (she saw the film as “Jurassic Park under the sea” from the start), so if the team really wants to push for a franchise, they have the IP for it. But unlike Jurassic Park, people were dubious about The Meg from the start.

“We were being laughed at by a lot of people for making this movie. Before it came out, the tracking was horrible. They were saying this is a huge mistake, Warner Brothers has blown it, China is done,” said director Jon Turteltaub, before joking to the audience that “every single person up here did it for the money, for the money, for the money, for the money.” If The Meg 2 sees similar success, there’ll be plenty of that to go around.