One of the most hotly anticipated sequels of 2023 is Meg 2: The Trench, the follow-up to 2018’s surprise shark smash The Meg. Set five years after the events of the first film, Meg 2 sees Jason Statham’s shark-punching hero Jonas Taylor return for another deadly deep-sea showdown. With acclaimed horror director Ben Wheatley at the helm, Meg 2 aims to deliver a darker, creepier, and more action-packed underwater adventure.
Packed with state-of-the-art underwater filming technology, terrifying new prehistoric monsters, and higher emotional stakes, Meg 2 looks to earn its tagline as “bigger, badder, and bloodier” than the first Meg. As the August 4 release date approaches, here’s everything we know so far about the scale and spectacle audiences can expect when Meg 2 makes an inevitably huge splash in theaters this summer.
Meg 2 picks up with Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) having overcome his fears and PTSD from previous megalodon encounters to become a world-renowned shark expert. But when his ex-wife Lori (Jessica McNamee) and a team of scientists get trapped in the dangerous depths of the Mariana Trench with a massive megalodon, Jonas must confront his anxieties and stage a treacherous rescue mission.
To save the day, he partners with oceanographer Zhou Feng (Li Bingbing) and marine biologist Dr. Michael Costello (Cliff Curtis) to mount a daring descent through nightmare-inducing conditions to the bottom of the ocean. Surrounded by the eerie blackness and sinister mysteries lurking in the planet’s deepest trench, they encounter shocking environments and creatures unseen by human eyes. The stakes couldn’t be higher for Jonas to overcome his doubts in order to slay the megalodon before it devastates the ocean’s fragile ecosystem.
In addition to Statham’s swaggering action-hero Jonas, Meg 2 sees the return of Rainn Wilson as greedy, shark-obsessed tech billionaire Morris. While details are scarce, expect Wilson’s eccentric billionaire to play a key role in the underwater adventures.
Chinese actress Li Bingbing joins the cast as Zhou Feng, providing smarts and fortitude as a resolute oceanographer. New Zealand star Cliff Curtis will portray the marine biologist Costello, adding heart and humor. They form a formidable team to take on the megalodon threat alongside the gruff, fearless Jonas.
New Creatures & Locations
While the megalodon remains the star killer creature, astute fans have spotted clues that massive prehistoric horrors like the Liopleurodon, Mosasaurus, and giant squid could make appearances to take Jonas’ mission into Jurassic territory. The creepy inky-black setting of the Mariana Trench also teems with alien-looking deep-sea lifeforms that trigger both wonder and terror.
Everything from bioluminescent horrors to 50-foot sharks adds to the atmosphere of claustrophobic horror and nonexistent visibility of the planet’s most otherworldly environment. With wheatley’s horror chops, expect a frightening new dimension to the aquatic action.
Cutting-Edge Visual Effects
One of the most exciting aspects of Meg 2 are the cutting-edge underwater filming techniques developed specially for the movie. New motion-control cameras, lighting rigs, and sets allowed extensive filming directly in the ocean, capturing the Mariana Trench setting in immersive detail.
By creating special tanks and ambitious practical sets, Wheatley aimed to minimize CGI and create tangible underwater environments, vehicles, and creatures adds to the terrifying realism when every shadow conceals prehistoric monsters. This pioneering filming technology achieves unprecedented levels of realism and visual splendor.
Early critic reviews have singled out Meg 2’s advancements in action filmmaking and underwater visual splendor:
- “State-of-the-art oceanic eye candy and action scenes that set pulses racing” – Variety
- “Savage shark sequel will leave audiences gasping for air” – Rolling Stone
- “A visionary deep-sea saga, creating an immersive journey into the abyss” – The Hollywood Reporter
- “Wheatley unleashes his horror chops on this high-tech aquatic thriller” – Entertainment Weekly
Why It’s a Must-See
With Wheatley’s expanded vision, a larger cast of charismatic leads, and the Mariana Trench’s foreboding atmosphere, Meg 2 aims to deliver:
- Breathtaking underwater cinematography using unprecedented filming technology
- Shocking creature attack scenes more ferocious than the first film
- Formidable new ancient beasts like the Liopleurodon and giant squid
- Statham in top ass-kicking form battling sharks and monstrosities
- Higher emotional stakes and personal growth for lead Jonas Taylor
The Bottom Line
With its pioneering filming techniques, ghastly creatures, atmospheric setting, and expanded scope, Meg 2: The Trench looks to sink its teeth into summer blockbuster season as a bigger, badder, and more action-packed thriller. Wheatley has crafted an immersive deep-sea saga full of white-knuckle tension and otherworldly sights unseen in cinema before.
Statham’s charismatic machismo makes him the perfect leading man to take on this high-tech underwater gauntlet of prehistoric shark mayhem. Come August 4, audiences can expect Meg 2 to make an appropriately mammoth splash that builds thrillingly on the original and cements the franchise as a new apex predator in Hollywood’s summer action waters.