Ben Wheatley thinks movies like ‘The Meg’ have “gone out of fashion” so he’s looking forward to reigniting the genre with the shark story’s sequel.
Ben Wheatley thinks movies like ‘The Meg’ have “gone out of fashion”.
The 48-year-old filmmaker is set to direct ‘Meg 2: The Trench’ – a follow-up to the 2018 action movie about a giant prehistoric shark – and is looking forward to bringing back to cinemas the sort of blockbuster that used to be hugely popular.
He said: “It’s a kind of cause-and-effect, blue-collar action movie that James Cameron and Steven Spielberg did really strongly and has gone out of fashion.”
And to do so, Ben couldn’t ask for a better star than Jason Statham.
He said: “He has a world-weariness about him that reminds me of early Harrison Ford – a constant sense of, ‘Why is this happening to me? I’m very cross.’ “
The ‘In the Earth’ filmmaker had also been signed up to direct a ‘Tomb Raider’ sequel but ultimately departed the project because of delays due to coronavirus, though he’d been relishing the possibility of tackling a “simple adventure” because they’re also currently not the most popular movies to make.
He told the Daily Telegraph: “It’s something missing from cinema at the moment – the simple adventure, when the characters explore and see amazing stuff, and there’s wonder and awe, and they’re chased, and there are tricks and traps. It was an itch I wanted to scratch.”
Ben was a surprising choice to direct Netflix’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’ but he viewed it as an opportunity to learn and to try something “very different”.
He said: “It was an opportunity to learn from Working Title and to make something that was very different from everything else I’d done so far.
“It’s a similar thing to when you make a ‘Doctor Who’: you don’t go in there and have Peter Capaldi smash someone over the head with a hammer. You do it because you like it, not because you want to change it into something else.”