Warner Bros has dropped the first trailer for summer shark pic The Meg. The Jason Statham-starrer is a sci-fi thriller about a prehistoric 75-foot-long predator, the Megalodon, who threatens the lives of a research team trapped underwater — and, yes, the fate of the ocean itself. As far as summer popcorn fare, the tagline says it all: “Chomp On This.”
Jon Turtletaub directs from a screenplay by Dean Georgaris and Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber thats based on the New York Times bestseller by Steve Alten.
The film is eyed to take a bite out of the Chinese box office. It was made with China, is set off the mainlands coast and co-stars Li Bingbing. Plus, Statham is a big draw at local turnstiles.
In the story, a deep-sea submersible thats part of an international undersea observation program has been attacked by a massive creature and now lies disabled at the bottom of the deepest trench in the Pacific. With time running out, expert deep sea rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Statham) is recruited by a visionary Chinese oceanographer (Winston Chao), against the wishes of his daughter Suyin (Li Bingbing), to save the crew — and the ocean — from this unstoppable threat.
What no one could have imagined is that years before, Taylor had encountered this same terrifying shark. Now, teamed with Suyin, he must confront his fears and risk his own life to save everyone trapped below — bringing him face to face once more with the greatest and largest predator of all time.
The trailer features a look at the team, the beast, a giant squid and a jaunty montage set to Bobby Darins “Beyond The Sea.” Theres also the requisite Shark Week joke, and what could be taken as a nod to the ending of Jaws in one of Stathams quips.
Rounding out the international main cast are Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Page Kennedy, Jessica McNamee, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Robert Taylor, Cliff Curtis, Sophia Shuya Cai and Masi Oka.
A presentation of Warner Bros Pictures and Middle Kingdom-based Gravity Pictures, The Meg is a production of di Bonaventura Pictures, Apelles Entertainment, Maeday Productions and WBs China joint venture Flagship Entertainment, in association with Beijing Digital Impression Film.
Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Belle Avery and Colin Wilson are producers with Gerald R Molen, Randy Greenberg, Wayne Wei Jiang and Barrie Osborne exec producing.
Gravity will distribute in China with WB on the rest of the world. Release is set for August 10.
‘Antebellum’ has a ‘Get Out’ vibe, but doesn’t live up to its twist
“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definite..
“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definitely shouldn’t be spoiled even a little. Once that revelation is absorbed, however, the movie becomes less distinctive and inspired, reflecting an attempt to tap into the zeitgeist that made “Get Out” a breakthrough, without the same ability to pay off the premise.
Originally destined for a theatrical run, the movie hits digital platforms trumpeting a “Get Out” pedigree in its marketing campaign, since there’s an overlap among the producing teams.
More directly, the film marks the directing debut of Gerard Bush + Christopher Renz, who have championed social-justice issues through their advertising work. The opening script features a quote from author William Faulkner, whose intent will eventually become clearer: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
If that sounds like a timely means of drawing a line from the horrors of slavery to the racism of today, you’ve come to the right place.
The story begins on a plantation, where the brutal overseers carry out grisly punishments against those tilling the fields. A few have just tried to escape, led by Veronica (Janelle Monae), and they pay a heavy price for their resistance, which does nothing to curb her defiance.
Also written by Bush + Renz, the script take too long before revealing what makes “Antebellum” different, but the middle portion — a “The Twilight Zone”-like phase when it’s hard to be sure exactly what’s going on — is actually the film’s strongest. (Even the trailer arguably gives away too much, so the less one knows, the better.)
The final stretch, by contrast, veers into more familiar thriller territory, and feels especially rushed toward the end, leaving behind a host of nagging, unanswered questions. That provides food for thought, but it’s also what separates the movie from something like “Get Out,” which deftly fleshed out its horror underpinnings.
Although the filmmakers (in a taped message) expressed disappointment that the movie wasn’t making its debut in theaters, in a strange way, the on-demand format somewhat works in its favor. In the press notes, Bush says the goal was “to force the audience to look at the real-life horror of racism through the lens of film horror. We’re landing in the middle of the very conversations that we hoped ‘Antebellum’ would spur.”
“Antebellum” should add to that discussion, so mission accomplished on that level. Monae is also quite good in her first leading film role (she did previously star in the series “Homecoming’s” second season), but otherwise, most of the characters remain underdeveloped.