Something big and hungry will emerge from the depths of the ocean this weekend when Jon Turteltaub's The Meg premieres on the big screen. The movie will offer up an exciting new entry into the silver screen shark genre, but it's also worth noting that this story is based on a book by author Steve Alten. I recently had a chance to sit down with Turteltaub about the process of adapting The Meg into a movie, and he explained how the characters and the physical nature of the megalodon shark were the two biggest changes made to the original story. The director explained:
The biggest change is characters. There are characters in the novel that don't necessarily... some things are blended, and we've done a lot of that. And the physical characteristics of the shark have changed a little bit. It's an all-white sort of albino shark in the novel. I thought, visually, that's gonna be too Moby Dick.
Changes are generally expected when a story makes the jump from a book to a movie, as the two mediums are very different. In order to tell a leaner story that worked better on the big screen, Turteltaub and his team made some notable changes to the core ensemble of personalities in The Meg, which made this iteration of the tale different from its source material. Beyond that, certain physical characteristics of the shark were altered (notably the color of the shark) to make things work better from a technical perspective and to avoid comparisons to Moby Dick.
It makes plenty of sense to learn that so many elements of The Meg changed as it was adapted into a film. After all, the film has already drawn a number of comparisons to Jurassic Park, which similarly took Michael Crichton's original source material and altered it significantly to craft a story that worked better for a new medium.
Want to hear everything that Jon Turteltaub had to say about adapting The Meg from a book into a movie? Then take a look at a clip from our interview, below!
The Meg centers on a group of oceanographers and shark experts who uncover a prehistoric megalodon during an excursion. Awakened and hungry, the enormous beast goes on a rampage through the Pacific Ocean, and the team soon enlists wise-cracking rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) to take it down. In addition to Jason Statham, the film also features John Wick: Chapter 2 actress Ruby Rose, Fear the Walking Dead's Cliff Curtis, and The Office's Rainn Wilson.
The film version of Steve Alten's book will make its theatrical debut tomorrow, August 10, when The Meg finally premieres on the big screen. If you are looking for more information about the film, then you can take a look at our review, and you can also head over to our 2018 movie premiere guide to read up on all of this year's major release dates!