Jason Statham is a candid guy, and he's not really hiding his disappointment with "The Meg." It's not his cup of tea. It's light-hearted and funny and -- at PG-13 -- more family friendly and less gory than he originally wanted.
As he asked, "Where’s the f*cking blood?"
Statham filmed the movie two years ago, and in talking with Collider he wasn't sure why it took so long to hit screens. Collider asked about changes along the way, and Statham admitted the theatrical cut from director Jon Turteltaub is very different from the film he signed on to make. (Jon Turteltaub also shared his own disappointment to lose the bloody R-rated cut; read his thoughts below.)
Jason Statham told Collider about the changes:
"Scripts totally different. There was so many different … sometimes you just go, 'How did it happen? How did it go from this to this to this to that?' You just can’t keep a track on it. I guess if you have the control to keep it a certain way you would, but you don’t. They have a movie to make. They have so many people deciding on what action stays and what scenes stay. How the characters … In the end they want to put something at the beginning. The whole thing at the beginning where I do a rescue on a sub? That was not in the script that I read. That was all brand new stuff, good or bad. I’m just letting you know. [...]
I’m, you know. I’m just saying it was radically different. I guess in some ways your imagination and your own perception of what it’s going to be is its worst enemy. Just because you should always try and not narrow that down and imagine what you want it to be and just go for the ride. Jon’s interpretation of this is a fun end of summer [movie]. It’s full of humor. It’s a little bit more directed to a different taste of what my own is in terms of I like more gory adult stuff. I’m a lot older but I can’t speak for what this film could possibly speak to a younger audience."
Collider said they understood why the studio would want to make a "four-quadrant movie" hitting all demographics instead of a "hard R gritty holy sh*t shark movie." However, as Statham countered:
"Yeah but you go, “Where’s the f*cking blood?' It’s like, 'There’s a shark.'"
Statham admits he gets critical because he's part of the process, and the real test is how audiences react to the film, since they aren't biased by what they expected the film to be along the way.
"As an audience goer you’re spared all of that sort of things that can ruin a movie for you. I think as you’re involved in these films you get more and more critical and going, 'That bit there should have spent more money on the CG. That bit there they should have made that more gory. Where’s the other bit that was in the original?'"
Statham did give the director props for the spin that he went with, giving the film a more humorous tone. And he admitted he's not a filmmaker, and he might've made a film that no one else wanted to see. They are aiming to make money here.
For his part, Jon Turteltaub also sounded disappointed that the film wasn't bloodier. He told Bloody Disgusting they had to take out the blood and guts to be able to get a PG-13 rating:
"Knowing that this is for Bloody Disgusting, I am so disappointed the film wasn’t more bloody or disgusting. My wife is glad about it and I’m glad my kids can see the movie, but the number of really horrifying, disgusting and bloody deaths we had lined up that we didn’t get to do is tragic. There was some really good sh*t that didn’t survive to the final cut."
"The Meg" posters and trailer definitely showcased the frothy light tone, and we were all for it. But it's understandable when actors feel frustrated to have signed on to make one movie and a very different one comes out. Happens a lot.
"The Meg" is getting mixed reviews so far, from critics. Fans can judge for themselves when "The Meg" opens in theaters this Friday, August 10.
In the meantime, check out Moviefone's interviews with Statham and Turteltaub:
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