A Great White Shark attack movie called In the Deep is already being described as Jaws meets 127 hours, but could such a film be considered an effort to revive the sensationalism associated with shark attacks?
In a related report by The Inquisitr, ever since a Great White Shark attack in Australia resulted in the death of the man, the debate over shark culling has resumed. The Western Australia EPA has rejected the controversial shark culling program that used bait lines attached to floating drums in order to catch sharks, but others in the government believe a rapid response squad with the authority to remove, catch, or kill sharks is necessary if it’s believed there is an “imminent danger” of a shark attack.
Lately, shark attack horror movies have been something of a joke. The Sharknado series infamously invoked a very unlikely environmental disaster, in addition to crazy stunts like a man jumping down the throat of a Great White Shark while armed with a chainsaw. Even the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week has fallen victim to sensationalist storytelling when it came to the potential megalodon ominously called “the submarine.”
Sony Pictures reportedly won a bidding battle over Warner Bros. and Fox for a script called In the Deep. According to Dread Central, descriptions of the proposed film seem to indicate that fearful dread of a circling Great White Shark is the main theme.
“The spec is described as a cross between ‘127 Hours’ meets ‘Jaws,’ with a touch of ‘Gravity’ thrown in for good measure. A young woman who is dealing with the recent death of her mother is surfing on an isolated beach and gets stranded 20 yards off shore on a buoy. What lies between her and the shore is a huge great white shark. It’s an emotional piece for a young twenty-something star.”
Conservationists will probably not be too happy to hear filmmakers are attempting to recreate the success of Jaws. It’s said the classic horror movie catapulted humans’ fear of sharks to the forefront of public thought, and supporters of conservationist efforts for the Great White Shark would probably not be too happy with In the Deep as it’s described.
“Painting sharks as cold-blooded maneaters who hunt humans for sport did real damage in the world that took decades to reverse. It turned every movie-going a**hole with a fishing pole into a shark hunter, and eventually helped lead to the great white being labeled as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.”
Even the phrase “shark attack” has come under fire by some, since the usage of the word “attack” would presume intent, and thus it’s claimed to be sensationalist. Shark researchers generally believe sharks are not targeting humans specifically, but are instead mistaking humans for other prey. Because of these ideas, some believe the phrase shark attack itself should be banished from the media’s vocabulary. This is unlikely to happen, since readers overwhelmingly prefer the phrase in internet searches. The situation could be compared to the usage of “illegal immigrant,” which is considered incorrect in an updated AP Stylebook. Yet the phrase is still commonly used in news reports due to its popularity.
Besides the views of conservationists, there tends to be two competing viewpoints about how the the dangers posed by the Great White Shark should be portrayed. For example, a quote from ocean photographer and author Hugh Edwards is highlighted for the graphic nature of his description of a Great White Shark attack.
“Two of the victims were swallowed totally, two were bitten completely in half. And the fifth one, if they hadn’t managed to get his remains into the boat instantly, I’m sure would have gone too. Now this is a large shark capable of eating the whole lot… and may have been the same shark.
“Those five attacks were chillingly similar. They were like the one where Geoff Brazier was killed at the Abrolhos Islands north of Perth. The shark hit him in the middle, ate one half, turned around, ate the other half and that was it. If you’d blinked your eyes, you’d have missed it. In the attack at Wedge Island, the guy was completely consumed, as well… gone after two hits.”
The article in question proposed that targeted shark culling is necessary, and uses facts about deaths attributed to sharks as justification.
But some may believe that focusing on death and worst case scenarios is not the best approach. Former daredevil Navy clearance diver Paul de Gelder lost his arm and leg in a bull shark attack back in 2009, which makes him a firsthand expert on the subject. He believes that knowledge about sharks is the key to understanding, not fear.
“The bottom line is knowledge dispels fear,” de Gelder says. “The more we can teach people, the more they can understand and respect, and be in awe of these animals; the more they’ll fall in love with them, the more they’ll want to protect them, just like Andy and I want to do.”
What do you think about the proposed shark attack movie In the Deep the features a Great White Shark hunting down a human?