Filmmaker Ben Wheatley insists he’ll be reading from the franchise playbook when it comes to making the giant shark sequel The Meg 2.
With quirky, darker films like A Field In England and Kill List to his name, Ben Wheatley has long established himself as one of the most distinct directors to originate from these shores. Even the director’s projects that have a more ‘Hollywood’ flavour to them, such as Free Fire still possess his particular style.
However, Wheatley has been chatting about his next venture, the big-budget sequel to 2018’s The Meg. And whilst you might be forgiven for thinking that Wheatley might be looking to take the film into slightly darker, stranger territory, the filmmaker insists that’s not the case, mentioning the episodes of Doctor Who that he directed as proof that he can operate within the stylistic framework of an existing franchise.
Says Wheatley, “a lot of it is respecting The Meg, and trying to make sure it’s a great Meg film. And as you can see from the movies I’ve made, they’re not necessarily, it’s not … when you go and do Doctor Who, I don’t completely change it because I wanted to do it. I didn’t want to necessarily make it something completely different that nobody recognised, you know? So there’s that element of back and forth”.
Wheatley also talked briefly about the film’s action sequences and how he’s relishing the scale of the conflict that he’ll be able to portray on screen, stating “it’s an opportunity to do action on such an insanely large scale, that it’s just unbelievable. From doing Free Fire, which was, I thought, was all my Christmases came at once in terms of action, this is just unbelievable. And just doing the storyboards for it, just thinking and going, ‘oh,’ it’s just … I feel a heavy responsibility for it, to make sure that it kind of delivers on all the, to all the big shark fans out there.”
Us ‘big shark fans’ out there are certainly looking forward to it. The way that Wheatley handled the action in Free Fire, which is essentially one long 91 minute sequence, was thrilling and especially impressive given the number of characters on display. It’s such a great example of Wheatley’s prowess as an action director, we’re very much looking forward to seeing what he does with The Meg 2.
Wheatley’s next film, the micro-budget indie horror In The Earth, which he shot during lockdown, will release on the 18th June.
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