“Longmire” actor Robert Taylor is boarding the Warner Bros. horror-thriller MEG.
Based on Steve Alten’s 1997 book “Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror,” the film will be helmed by NATIONAL TREASURE director Jon Turteltaub, who will work from a screenplay draft by Dean Georgaris (THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE) and a rewrite by James Vanderbilt (THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2).
Taylor, an Australian actor with film credits such as THE MATRIX and FOCUS, joins a cast that includes Jason Statham (THE TRANSPORTER), Rainn Wilson (“The Office,” SUPER), Bingbing Li (TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION) and Ruby Rose (“Orange Is the New Black”).
MEG centers on a 70-foot, 40-ton Carcharodon megalodon — a distant cousin of the great white — that is unwittingly unleashed by a tech billionaire’s (Wilson) underwater research program. As the creature terrorizes the coast off of present-day China, a former Navy deep-sea diver (Statham) is given a chance at redemption after his initial encounter with the creature ends in tragedy.
Belle Avery, Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Colin Wilson will produce the film, with Barrie M. Osborne, Wei Wayne Jiang, Gerald R. Molen and Randy Greenberg serving as executive producers. Gravity Pictures in China will co-finance the film along with Warner Bros.
Alten’s book has spawned five sequels, and Turteltaub certainly has the material to deliver a harrowing JAWS-style adventure with MEG that could develop into a lucrative franchise for Warner Bros.
Over the years, several failed attempts were made to adapt it into a film with such directors as Jan de Bont (SPEED), Guillermo Del Toro (PAN’S LABYRINTH) and Eli Roth (THE GREEN INFERNO) attached.
MEG hits theaters March 2, 2018.