Ahoy: Spoilers for The Meg ahead!
The Meg was the apex predator at the box office over the weekend, with audiences thrilling to Jason Statham’s ocean-set battle against a ginormous prehistoric shark. There was plenty of blood, but with a PG-13 rating, director Jon Turteltaub was unable to go as gory as he originally intended. When Turteltaub visited Yahoo Entertainment, he explained how two key scenes would have played very differently if the film was R-rated.
#SavePippin … or not?
Before Statham and pals have their final showdown with the Meg, we visit a crowded beach on the tropical Chinese island, Hainan. Among the sunshine revelers is a wedding party on a boat anchored offshore. A distraught bride watches her adorable pup Pippin slips through her grasp to go for a swim at really just the worst possible time, one of many shoutouts to Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic, Jaws.
Featured in the trailers, tweets (#SavePippin), and marketing materials, the diminutive dog seem fated to become an hors d’oeuvre.
Of course, dog lovers were relieved to discover that Pippin survives the encounter. But the dog’s escape wasn’t always a given, according to Turteltaub.
“There was a tremendous amount of conversation because the dog wasn’t really in the script,” the filmmaker said. “It was an added thing that I just thought was a must. [We had] a lot of conversations about whether this adorable dog lives or dies. If it doesn’t live just how brutally does it die? Will this audience hate me for having a Meg devour this adorable dog? Or will most of the people who really count love me for this dog being eaten. No dogs were hurt in the making of this movie, I promise.”
— The Meg Movie (@MegMovie) August 6, 2018
Then the camera goes up, and all that’s left is his face.
Rainn Wilson steals several scenes as billionaire Jack Morris. And his character’s grand finale would have been much more memorable if Turteltaub had his druthers.
“Rainn Wilson has an awesome death,” Turteltaub shared. “In the original cut you see this shark bite down on Rainn as he’s holding onto a wale. But all you see is the shark mouth close down on Rainn and you’re looking up at his face. And then the shark disappears and he’s still there. And you’re like, ‘Oh my god, the shark didn’t eat him.’ And then the camera goes up and all that’s left is his face. It was a great reveal and I thought, ’14-year-old me would go back to the theater to see that again.'”
Watch: Jon Turteltaub on how The Meg references Jaws:
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