Steve Alten’s MEG is one of the few books I’ve read multiple times. Not because I enjoy shallow entertainment (well I do!), but because I just freaking LOVE animal horror flicks. No matter how insanely bad this film might end up, I know for sure that I’m going to enjoy the hell out of myself sitting in my nearest IMAX theater watching a GIANT SHARK doing ridiculous things.
The novel opens up with a great introductory scene involving a T-Rex and our prehistoric Jaws. Unfortunately, that’s just one of many, many scenes that didn’t make it into the film. In fact, when MEG entered development hell a couple years ago, almost nothing that came out of it some years later is resembling the novel in any way. That’s pretty unfortunate since Alten’s book was one long rollercoaster-ride. A perfect blend of action, thrill and horror suspense.
Another unfortunate thing is that actor-wannabe Jason Statham has landed the leading role in this flick. It’s a pretty horrible choice as Steve Alten wrote the character as a charismatic scientist/anti-hero who managed to outwit the giant beast based on knowledge, not on fists. Imagine Jason Statham outwitting anybody. Yeah… but we all know who the real star of this film is going to be, right?
We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Shark
At least Warner Bros. did know when they were conceptualizing a marketing strategy for The Meg. The whole poster campaign is ALL SHARK, no survivors. And it’s damn well so, because these posters look, for the most part, absolutely fantastic. If the film inherits only an inch of the style and craftsmanship from these posters, we’re gonna have a winner on our side. But I’m afraid it won’t. So far it looks more like Sharknado XVI with a slightly bigger budget. What a shame. With some luck and some capable creative forces behind it, this could have like become the next Jurassic World surprise hit.
And if Warner Bros. had been really clever, then they would have incorporated The Meg into their very own cinematic MonsterVerse. Just imagine the possibilities!
There’s Always a Bigger Fish
Imagine also, how it would be like if only the film had a memorable score. Because what Harry Gregson-Williams has pulled up from his composer’s sleeve it absolutely nothing. It’s even worse than that: It is a generic, listless affair overall clearly written on autopilot.
I don’t know where the poster designers took their inspiration from, but someone better informed Gregson-Williams, because his music could really, really use a little bit of that spark. I know it’s kind of a long shot, but Gregson-Williams’ work has absolutely nothing in common with a certain score from a certain (second-)namesake for a certain other shark-movie. What a pity.
Raiders of the Lost Shark
Nevertheless I’d sat myself down to take a stab at The Meg. With high-quality source material like this, it should be a fun affair. And it more or less was.
I used quite a lot of time to got rid of unwanted text and also recomposed some posters to make them fit properly in my square canvas. One particular change I applied was a slight modification of the official film logo, based on the posters for the Asian market. Imho that distorted perspective implies largeness even more and I kinda dig that.
On this custom covers series I’ve had an unusual high number of failed attempts and alternate (read: more boring) versions, which is probably normal if you neglect your hobby as long as I did. But I am pleased to show you the successful ones.