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Sci-fi saga with a local twist

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-22 07:03

Sci-fi saga with a local twist

Director Jon Turteltaub (center) with crew members at the shooting scene. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The film's story, based on American novelist Steve Alten's 1997 novel Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror, centers on a China-led research project that discovers mysterious creatures in the Mariana Trench-the deepest known part of the world's oceans.

A former US Navy deepwater diver, played by British actor Jason Statham, then teams up with a Chinese scientist, played by actress Li Bingbing, to rescue the trapped crew, but accidentally releases a prehistoric creature that endangers swimmers along the Chinese coast.

Speaking about the film, director Jon Turteltaub, says: "I was sent the script in December last year. To me, it is a very new idea but an old-fashioned movie.

"I think all old-fashioned movies are the best movies. I like building stories on the great movies that I have seen in the past."

The director is known for his National Treasure films.

Interestingly, it seems that the author of the book on which the film is based also thinks like the film's director.

In an interview earlier this year, Alten said the idea for his New York Times' best-seller came from a magazine cover featuring the Marina Trench and Steven Spielberg's 1975 thriller Jaws.

As for how the movie came about, the story started around seven years ago, when American producer Belle Avery purchased the novel's copyright and started her journey to raise money. She struck gold in China.

She met with success in 2014, when she took a fossilized megalodon tooth to visit Wayne Jiang, the Chinese executive producer of Gravity Pictures.

Later the film got another investment from Warner Bros, making it a Sino-US coproduction.

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