Eli Roth To Direct Megalodon Shark Thriller For Warner Bros

Warner Brothers are set to bring a long awaited adaptation of Steve Alten’s thriller Meg to the screen, and a new report has revealed that Eli Roth is in talks to helm the project, which has spent nearly two decades in varying stages of development.

Roth’s potential involvement in the project was divulged by sources to both The Wrap and Variety. Belle Avery and Colin Wilson are both set to be producers on Meg, working from a script that has been newly revised by Dean Georgaris. Gerald Molen and Randy Greenberg are on board as executive producers, and co-financing has been established through Gravity Pictures.

Meg will be based on the novel of the same name, which became a New York Times Bestseller upon its 1997 release. The story details humanity’s rediscovery of the supposedly extinct megalodon, a 60-foot-long prehistoric shark, in the depths of the Marianas Trench. As the Inquisitr has previously reported, though the continued existence of the megalodon has been speculated upon by a number of sources (including two widely panned mockumentaries released by Discovery), the animal went extinct several million years ago.

Famously enduring over a decade of development hell, along with several screenplay re-writes and near-starts, Meg has been resurrected by Warner Brothers in the wake of production problems with a competing film, Sony’s In the Deep. A thriller similarly revolving around sharks, the film recently lost director Louis Leterrier.

Meg was originally set to go into production through Disney in 1997, but was called off following the release of Deep Blue Sea. Though Warner Brothers placed Meg in priority development before last weekend’s record release of Jurassic World, it seems likely that film’s performance will only serve to encourage the shark thriller to the screen as well, as Coming Soon notes.

The new draft of Meg will reportedly feature a major change from the novel, however. While the megalodon terrorized the California coastline in the book, the setting will be changed to China for the film, a difference that was key in securing co-financing through Gravity, who will also handle Chinese distribution.

Roth will find himself dealing with sharks in the near future, regardless of whether he signs on for Meg. The director is set to appear in Discovery’s Shark Week, beginning July 5, and will also host Shark After Dark. Eli Roth also has two other films debuting before the end of the year, even as he potentially begins work at finally bringing Meg to the screen.

[Photo via Coming Soon]

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