The unknown depths of the sea have always fascinated humanity and appealed to us, both through their beauty and terror. Evoking this fear of the unknown, Steven Spielberg revolutionized the creature horror genre forever through his first blockbuster hit, Jaws (1975). Since then, a plethora of imitative works have been released, along with three mediocre sequels, never quite able to emulate the dread ever again. However, the astronomical success of Jaws resulted in studios indulging in a really weird obsession with shark-related action movies ever since, which culminated in abominations like Sharknado and Sharktopus, which might be some of the worst crimes done to the species aside from human exploitation.
Although not that deplorable in essence, keeping in tradition with mega-budget shark action movies, Meg was released in 2018 and pitted the monstrous prehistoric shark Megalodon against Jason Statham and co. With its sequel, Meg 2: The Trench, on its way to be released this week, let’s see what you need to know before watching it in theaters.
The Source Material
The predictable, trope-y plotline of Meg makes it difficult to believe, but it is actually based on a series of novels that were written by Steve Alten, whose claim to fame was the Megalodon-based survival horror works. Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror inspired the first movie of the franchise, although it veers away from the source material in a number of major ways. The interesting part is that the prologue to the first novel narrates the sequence of a ginormous Megalodon devouring a Tyrannosaurus Rex by almost beaching itself, an exact recreation of which was seen in the “Meg 2” trailer. The novel ventured deep into the biological aspects of the fictitious lore of Megalodon, which was substituted in the movie with flashy action sequences.
Despite some differences, like not adding the Megalodon childbirth section or the backstory of Jonas as a marine biologist, the first movie did stay true to the source regarding some of the main characters and their motivation. It remains to be seen how much of the second novel of the series, The Trench, gets translated into Meg 2. The novel series expanded to seven more installments, which means if Meg 2 becomes a hit, there won’t be any shortage of material to build the franchise further.
Key Characters Of ‘Meg’ Who Will Appear In The Sequel
The first movie chiefly revolved around the character Jonas Taylor, an ex-marine who is seeking to redeem himself. A submarine accident that was caused by a Megalodon resulted in Jonas losing two of his colleagues; despite his repeated pleas, his superiors didn’t believe him and ended up dismissing him. Years later, Jonas has to return to a rescue operation when his ex-wife gets similarly trapped during a deep-sea exploration. Eventually, he sees that their entry through the deep-sea thermocline allowed a previously entrapped prehistoric shark, Megalodon, to escape from submarine trenches. Equipped with advanced submersibles, chum, a trigger-happy attitude, and desperation to prove himself, Jonas Taylor takes on the Megalodon and kills it, only to discover a second, even larger Megalodon was present beforehand. Eventually, with the help of the crew of Mana One (the deep-sea exploration station), Jonas managed to kill the second Meg as well.
Suyin Zhang, the oceanographer who was closely associated with Mana One’s exploration project and played a major role alongside Jonas in taking down two Megs, will return in the sequel as well. In a sense, the character of Jonas from the novel was split into two parts: the sympathetic, reasonable side constituted Suyin’s character, while the stupidly daring enough to fight a 60-foot shark part went to the movie’s version of Jonas, played by Jason Statham. Aside from them, Jonas’ friend Mac and the engineer DJ will return in the sequel as well.
What To Expect Next?
During the end sequence of the first movie, it was hinted that, as opposed to the Mana One crew’s consideration of the threat of the duo Megalodon being taken care of, more Megs escaped the underwater trench. However, it’s unclear as to whether the tease has been continued through Meg 2. The trailer shows Jonas is being summoned to assess another troublesome situation all over again, which is linked with Megalodons escaping from another underwater furrow as opposed to already escaped ones terrorizing the sea from the beginning.
This time, at 25000 feet, seismic activity seems to have awakened a new bunch of prehistoric giant sharks and, with them, a host of other marine monstrosities, like a giant cephalopod. A new megafauna is discovered at the ocean depths, where explorer group members in advanced exo-armour are seen venturing, who inevitably face the wrath of the creatures whose peace they have disturbed. Jonas and his crew will face supposedly the biggest Megalodon they have come across so far, and the gnarly beast is out for blood; as seen through the series of vicious attacks, it leads with a pack of other Megs on the clueless beachgoers. Yeah, as the trailer shows, it seems the sharks have learned from their worst enemies, Orcas, and are relying on numbers as they hunt in packs. In an underwater exploration station similar to Mana One, an influencer is seen devoured as a Megalodon breaks through the protective barrier quite easily, proving no easy escape for the crew like the first one. Some tongue-in-cheek references to the first movie remind viewers about the first time Jonas met the Megs, also showing how much the makers are doubling down on this one.
The tone of the sequel will supposedly be darker than the previous installment, as both the novelist Steve Alten and lead actor Jason Statham discussed increasing the gore quotient. After all, there is nothing more fun than to see giant sharks chomping their way through annoying tourists while ‘Barracuda’ plays in the background, and part of the fun gets lost if the ensuing bloodbath is toned down.