According to Ben Wheatley, director of “Meg 2: The Trench,” Statham was always keen to do as many of his own stunts as possible. Anytime the actor is seen powering a jet ski through the water, that is indeed Statham.
Wheatley offers, “Because the physics of a face are hard to fake – you have to be upside down to really look like you are upside down – we had Jason on this kind of giant hand drill setup, and we’d pull the trigger and spin him around, firing water at his face. He wanted as few gimbal shots as possible, almost all of it is him – obviously not jumping a giant wave, but him riding a jet ski very, very quickly. And scarily, we were all at the monitors, saying, “Please come back all right!””
During an interview with Collider before filming for the sequel began, Statham talked about why he was excited to work with Wheatley, who took over directing duties from Jon Turteltaub, who helmed the surprise 2018 blockbuster, “The Meg.” Wheatley’s great, said Statham, “we have a great shorthand already. We’ve got similar taste. I like his movies, I think he’s a brilliant director. I think we’ve got a good shot at making something good.”
Just how terrifying is the action in the sequel? This time around, filmmakers were determined to out-Meg “The Meg” by creating their Apex Meg – a grizzled veteran covered in scars; the unrelenting machine of death is larger than anything conceived for the original film. Director Wheatley says, “He’s a guy who’s had loads of bar fights.”
Devising every terror-inducing act of the Megs began in the same place, according to Wheatley: “All the action with the sharks started with a pencil, me just sitting down and drawing, and thinking about what would be really fun to see. Then, I would go to our storyboard artist, Jake Lunt Davies, and together we would work out what the sequence was going to be.
From there to the computer animators, who’d rough a version, then we’d cut that into the film, and then we’d go and shoot it.” Many steps would follow and the whole journey for each shark encounter – from pencil to feature – took roughly six months. For the director, once the Meg turned up in post-production, “We were like, ‘Oh. My. God!’” The entire collection of storyboards for the film wound up with nearly 5,000 drawings.
WATCH THE TRAILER BELOW:
Watch “Meg 2: The Trench,” opening in Philippine cinemas on August 2, 2023.