In troubled waters with Jason Statham on TF1: why this shark film remained in the drawers for 20 years

On the occasion of the broadcast of “In troubled waters” tonight on TF1, return on the production history of this blockbuster led by Jason Statham.

In troubled waters is adapted from the novel “Megalodon”, born from the pen of Steve Alten and published for the first time in 1997. The plot centers on two divers confronting a giant prehistoric shark … Preparing to cause carnage on the beaches of California! As soon as the book comes out, Disney plans to make a film of it. The famous studio gave up, however, in order not to compete with Blue Fear produced by Warner, which was released in early 2000.

In Troubled Waters: Did you know Jason Statham was once faced with sharks?

Disappointed, Steve Alten writes his own screenplay and shows it to producer Nick Nunziata, who gives it to Guillermo del Toro. The director passes it on to Lawrence Gordon and Lloyd Levin, who have just produced Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, the Cradle of Life (2003) directed by Jan de Bont. The latter is then in turn asked to be in charge of the film adaptation of “Megalodon”, but he declines the proposition.

Not far ten years later, in 2015, Eli Roth was approached by Warner to adapt the novel. But the director of Hostel also gives up. The reason ? He wants to make a “Rated R” movie, which means minors under 17 must be accompanied by an adult if they want to see it. He is finally replaced by Jon Turteltaub (Rasta Rockett, Benjamin Gates …). Jason Statham is then the first actor to be cast.

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When it was released in 2018, In troubled waters harvested nearly $ 527 million in global revenue for a budget of $ 130 million. It is the shark film which makes the most entries in front of The Teeth of the Sea and its 471 million dollars (the feature film by Steven Spielberg, however, brings in more money since it costs seven million). A sequel is launched, with Ben Wheatley directing and Jason Statham as the diver.

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