Sometimes, things just don’t turn out the way you thought they would. For Jason Statham, that includes his most recent aquatic actionfest, The Meg.
“The script’s totally different,” he lamented when asked about the theatrical version, saying “a lot” changed between what he was originally pitched and what you’ll be seeing this summer. “Sometimes you just go, ‘How did it happen? How did it go from this to this to this to that?’…It was radically different. I guess in some ways your imagination and your own perception of what it’s going to be is its worst enemy.”
According to the UK’s leading expert on cinematic punching and kicking, director Jon Turteltaub saw The Meg as a “fun end of summer movie” while Mr. Statham wanted to see all the “gory adult stuff” that was supposed to be in the film, but ended up on the cutting room floor.
As for Turteltaub, he says he did want to make a giant summer blockbuster (I mean, who wouldn’t?), but that the decision to axe the gore ultimately came from the studio execs who wanted a PG-13 release. In a great interview with Bloody Disgusting, the director explained, “We shot or even did a lot of visual effects for [gory scenes], but we just realized there’s no way we’re keeping this PG-13 if we show this.” Obviously disappointed, he added, “the number of really horrifying, disgusting and bloody deaths we had lined up that we didn’t get to do is tragic. There was some really good shit that didn’t survive to the final cut.”
When you’ve got a 75 foot prehistoric shark as the focus of your film, you’re pretty much guaranteed to hit the top of the fun scale. “Yeah but,” says a still disappointed Jason Statham, “you go, ‘Where’s the fucking blood?’ It’s like, ‘There’s a shark.’”