Nearly four months after action icon Jason Statham signed on to fight a prehistoric shark in the upcoming Warner Bros. thriller Meg, the rest of the cast is starting to come together. Today we have word that Jessica McNamee (Sirens) has come aboard as the female lead, with Chinese actress Bingbing Fan signing on as well. Unfortunately, no details have been given about their characters at this time.
Eli Roth was attached to direct Meg before he dropped out back in March, with Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) immediately coming aboard to replace him. Variety reports that Warner Bros. has set a March 2, 2018 release date for Meg, putting it up against an untitled Fox/Marvel movie. Meg will also debut one week after Legendary’s Pacific Rim 2 on February 23, 2018 and one week before Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph 2.
The movie is based on the novel by Steve Alten, which was adapted by screenwriter James Vanderbilt (White House Down, Zodiac). The book centers on a top-secret dive into the Pacific Ocean’s deepest canyon, where Jonas Taylor found himself face-to-face with the largest and most ferocious predator in the history of the animal kingdom. The sole survivor of the mission, Taylor is haunted by what he’s sure he saw but still can’t prove exists – Carcharodon megalodon, the massive mother of the great white shark. The average prehistoric Meg weighs in at twenty tons and could tear apart a Tyrannosaurus rex in seconds.
The movie adaptation follows an international underwater observation program, led by Chinese scientists, which comes under attack by an unknown danger. After their deap-sea submersible craft is trapped at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest spot in the Pacific Ocean, this team is in need of rescue. Jason Statham will play a former Navy captain and expert diver, who has actually faced this massive shark before years earlier. He was forced to abort and abandon half his crew.
Warner Bros., Flagship Entertainment and the Chinese company Gravity Pictures will co-finance Meg, with Gravity Pictures handling distribution in China, with Warner Bros. handling the film throughout the rest of the world. Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Belle Avery and Colin Wilson are producing. Executive producers are Wei Wayne Jiang, Barrie M. Osborne, Randy Greenberg and Gerald R. Molen. Jessica McNamee most recently starred in the hit USA Network series Sirens, and she will next be seen in HBO’s Battle of the Sexes and the big screen CHiPs remake. Bingbing Fan currently stars in Skiptrace alongside Jackie Chan and Johnny Knoxville, which recently opened in Chinese theaters and debuts in the U.S. on September 2.