Filming the Meg sequel – Meg 2: The Trench – was much harder than anticipated, and production isn’t taking any shortcuts.
From the amazing underwater scenes to the actors’ intense training, the amount of work behind the scenes was insane.
This is what we’re going to talk about in this week’s episode of Xplained.
After Steven Spielberg’s 1975 thriller Jaws, our fascination with the ocean’s deadliest predator got bigger.
The 2018 film The Meg focuses on the shark’s predecessor, the Megalodon – hence why the film is titled ‘Meg’.
Water survival training was gruelling. Filming underwater for hours is physically and mentally draining.
The good news, for the audience and the production team alike, is that the film stars Jason Statham, a former member of Britain’s National Swimming Squad and former professional diver.
Filming comprised three parts.
The first one included simulating underwater scenes in a studio against a green screen, and then second, actors performed some of the moves they would have to do in the film in a swimming pool.
And then lastly, filming in open water commenced.
FIlming out at sea
In order to make the action scenes look real, they filmed for a month at sea, mostly in Thailand.
Statham even swam with real sharks to learn their behaviour.
Filming in open water helped make a lot of scenes more realistic, but it also made things more complicated.
“The biggest challenge is the water is always changing. One day you can have nice, smooth sea and the next day you get choppy sea,” stunt coordinator Gary Powell said.
The production team also used studio tanks.
The biggest advantage here is that you can of course control what’s going on with the water.
Mind you, these are more than glorified swimming pools.
Some of these tanks are 18 meters (59 ft) wide and 5 meters deep (16 ft), holding up to 1.2 million liters of water.
One of the tanks they used could hold 2.5 million waters, and it even had a wave maker.
It is surrounded by a massive green screen, too.
Visual effects and animatronix
Obviously, there are a lot of visual effects in these films.
For example, the high-speed chase with the gliders was filmed against a green screen.
Designing megalodon was by far the trickiest part, though.
These giants used to be anywhere between 60 and 80 feet long, the same size ten sharks.
About Meg 2: The Trench
Meg 2: The Trench, titled Shark 2 in certain territories, stars Jason Statham, Wu Jing, Page Kennedy and Skyler Samuels.
Filmed on a budget on $129 million, the movie is scheduled for theatrical release in the US on August 4, 2023.