In 2017, Moviehole visited the set of the science fiction action thriller “The Meg,” being directed by Jon Turteltaub (the “National Treasure” movies, “Last Vegas”), in New Zealand. We spent time with stars Jason Statham (“Spy,” “Furious 7,” “The Expendables” films), comic superstar Rainn Wilson (“The Office”), Australian film and TV sensation Ruby Rose (“John Wick 2”, “xXx : The Return of Xander Cage”) and Turtletaub.
A deep-sea submersible—part of an international undersea observation program—has been attacked by a massive creature, previously thought to be extinct, and now lies disabled at the bottom of the deepest trench in the Pacific…with its crew trapped inside. With time running out, expert deep sea rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Statham) is recruited by a visionary Chinese oceanographer (Winston Chao), against the wishes of his daughter Suyin (Li Bingbing), to save the crew—and the ocean itself—from this unstoppable threat: a pre-historic 75-foot-long shark known as the Megalodon. What no one could have imagined is that, years before, Taylor had encountered this same terrifying creature. Now, teamed with Suyin, he must confront his fears and risk his own life to save everyone trapped below…bringing him face to face once more with the greatest and largest predator of all time.
Do you have to practice not giggling on set?
Yes, I’m a big giggler. And also Jon [Turteltaub] is very funny! Our director is too funny for serious scenes sometimes. It’s like ‘and you’re all gonna die’, and we’re like ‘ah!’ Because he just says these things to make us laugh, and he’s like always testing us.
Can you tell us about your character?
Her name is Jaxx, she has really cool hair, and she is the engineer on the vessel and she basically designed all of the gliders, all of the equipment, all of the technology that everyone’s using. So she’s kind of a very very smart, scientific gal and she’s sort of dedicated her whole life to marine life and to the ocean.
I have fake tattoos on over my real tattoos because I wanted them to be more themed to the film. So this is like an Octopus. Oh, this was just easier to put on. We just wanted to make it seem more like she’s kind of like a deep sea fanatic and that’s why she’s so knowledgeable and so passionate about the whole thing.
Did you work with the costume people and design people to design these tattoos?
Yeah, we designed this one together. We had some ideas for here, but because I have tattoos we had to cover them and put new ones on so we didn’t want to spend too much time. Because originally my idea was that I’m gonna have like just marine life all over me, 12 hours a day, and then I would wrap. So we kind of met half way, and the hair I designed because I wanted her to look different to the other three characters I’ve just played back and I kind of got this from a mixture of Angelina Jolie in “Gone in Sixty Seconds” and “Hackers”. I feel like my character reminds me of her in “Hackers”, where it’s kind of like you don’t really know why but she’s just so good at that one thing – hacking, clearly. But yeah she’s just got that sort of – not that Jaxx has got any kind of maniacal side or that she’s kind of manic – but she’s definitely very focused. So I just kind of liked the idea of it being like a little rat. Just kind of obsessing over things.
If you’re playing an engineer, do you have a lot of scenes where you talk engineering stuff??
I feel like she’s more on the computer side of engineering. So no spanners – apparently they’ll be gone in 2020! It’s more, I have a lot of my screens, my desk, the areas that I work from are very heavy on data. And I wanted to know what everything meant because I’m a little bit like Jaxx and I didn’t want to be staring at something that I didn’t know what it meant. But I think when I said that they were just like ‘how long have you got?’ ‘Like, all day!’ And then half way through I’m like ‘you know what, I think I’ve got it – tanks and oxygen levels and, yeah, that’s enough, that’s enough for me!’
Do you have any tech jar gin heavy lines that were a ??BIT TOUGH??
Oh yeah. I mean we all do, but it’s fun, the only trick with having really scientific words that you wouldn’t usually have in your dialect usually is by the time you get to like the 90th take – not because I need 90 takes because I’m really bad, but because when you have six or seven people in a room, so you’re doing over the shoulders and you’re getting close ups and then another close up and then one of just your eyeball – you say it so many times it just becomes letters in a row next to other letters, and you’ve just got to really remember – because you don’t have – you’ve got to assign each thing a meaning. And then that makes it a lot easier, because we could have this conversation for twelve hours and know what it means but when you’re saying things that you’ve never learnt about and are kind of unusual, you start to think ‘did that make any sense? Did I say, was I even speaking?’ But me, Rainn Wilson and, I would say probably Cliff [Curtis] have all experienced days where it’s almost twelve hours on one sort of long monologue type situation, and then it’s everyone’s reactions. And we just start so strong, so you we’re just sprinting through it, and then we orget that we’ve got to do a marathon, by the end of it we’re just like ‘a shark! something to do with a shark. and water. I think it was cold water!’ You know. But it’s quite fun. It’s very funny.
We’ve had a look around the set. I’d imagine it would be quite physically taxing as well. You’re such a busy actress. How do you prepare, mentally and physically?
I haven’t really got that bit down pat yet. The good thing about this film, and I’ve been lucky actually on all of my films, is that we do use some green screens and we use some sets, but we also go on location. So being on an actual boat, on the ocean, and then actually being able to do scenes there mean that when we do some other pickups here [in the studio] we’re not having to go ‘what’s it like being on a boat? Let’s all just rock… Yeah, that seems like what we’re supposed to do! Like, wind in our hair!’ It’s like, we know what it’s like having spent three or four weeks out on sea. And it’s a good mix, because I love being on location, and in New Zealand especially, it’s so beautiful, like we’re catching a boat to another boat that gets us to our third boat, and it’s like ‘is this how we commute? Like why can’t I do this with every job?’ But at the same time, you know, when the sun is out and, being near Australia and New Zealand we have quite a strong sun here, slash when the wind and the rain is out, you’re like ‘I want to be back on set!’ A then when you’re on set you’re like ‘wouldn’t it be nice to have the sun shining.’ So you always want the opposite to what you have. But it’s not – compared to the last three roles I’ve done – physically it hasn’t been as taxing. Just because I’m not having to run around and it’s a lot more, you know, gidgets and gadgets and fidgeting and whatever, but there’s a couple of little bits where I get to go on a stroll… A very very fast stroll! And I get to swim. And it’s cold. But that’s fun. I did almost drown the other day, but you know, where’s the publicist for this thing? She here? So, that was fun! It was a very cool scene where, it was, poor Rainn! Basically I end up in the water – and I don’t think that’s a very big give away being a ??? (7:48) I feel like, you know, a few people get wet a couple times – and I end up in the water and there’s this little bit where Rainn just has one thing to do… Just one job Rainn!
It must be reassuring to have someone like Jason Statham on set…
He wasn’t there when I was drowning! Yeah. Where was he? Where was he! Uh, he’s unreal. He’s a very cool guy. Yes I do feel much safer in Jason’s hands than Rainn Wilson’s hands! I’m just speaking from personal experience here. But yeah he’s a fit guy and he’s a very very hard worker so he’s just always on set. He’s in obviously a lot of the film and then when he’s not he’s working out and he’s training and we do stunt training and the rest and it’s, I always enjoy working with people who are as addicted to working – workaholics – as I am.
And how is it working with Meg?
Look, Meg is a very lovely sweet kitten. That’s what I tell myself. It was funny because when I first met Meg – sounds like I’m talking about when I got married!
Is it nice to be working closer to home?
It is. It is, I was a little bit, the only bummer about working in Australia or New Zealand – but I totally totally am on board with it and I agree with it, but it’s just one of those things – is you can’t bring your dogs. So like, I totally understand why, but it’s the one thing I miss the most when I’m travelling and doing films, is my dogs. So that was a little bit, knowing how long I’d be committing to this film for and wondering how often I would be able to get back because I’m in it a lot and we work every single day and we work very long days. So I knew that I would have less time to just nip back and see them. But it’s actually worked out good, because it means that I’ve forced myself to see my mum, who is just as important as my dogs! And for a moment I had forgotten. And I’ve visited her a couple of times and I love my mum so much, so she’s really happy that I’m here. And I keep forgetting that I have friends as well! And they’ve come and visited me and being in Auckland is very contrast to the craziness of LA, so it’s very like just it’s so chill like walking down to the local shop and eating at the cafe and just goin shopping an it doesn’t feel like the pressure and all the attention you get in LA, so it’s nice. But it’s a little bit like, it’s so close to home which is great, but it’s not home yet, it’s still another couple of hours! But I have friends here too, and honestly the cast is so close, and the crew, we’re all really close. In fact John was supposed to take us go carting this weekend but I think he pulled out because he knew I’d win!
The guys have a chess competition…
Oh my god! Please. This movie could have been done in a month! And instead everyone’s like ‘yes!!!’ I’m like ‘what? what? what?’. ‘Oh no I just won’ I’m like ‘again? Chess? We’re still doing this?’ It started on day 3, we’re now on day, like, 50 and now everyone’s playing chess!
Thank you guys
“The Meg” is released next week.
Reboot-Palooza : Willow, Dawson’s Creek, Warm Bodies next?
Ron Howard says “serious discussions” are underway to bring the ’80s fantasy to TV
Remakes, reboots, revivals and returns are the new school socks – the turn-over rate is high.
Today, news on a “Willow” reboot series (this is the thing Ron Howard’s been hinting at for a while now) for Disney Plus, a possible revival of “Dawson’s Creek” (I’ll believe it when I see it) and a television adaptation of a saccharine spooker from a couple of years ago.
George Lucas had long wanted to turn ’80s fantasy film “Willow”, which Howard directed and the former Lucasfilm CEO produced, into a series. He won’t have anything to do with it, but his initial proposition looks to have come off.
According to the former Ritchie Cunningham, Disney’s streaming division is looking at bringing Warwick Davis’s pint-sized adventurer to TV.
Howard tells MTV’s Happy Sad Confused podcast that they’re in “serious discussions” to make it happen.
“Warwick is so cool and so good and he’s such a good actor that I really hope we get the chance to see the mature Willow in action,” the “Solo” director said.
The 1988 film, which also starred Val Kilmer, Jean Marsh, Billy Barty, Joanne Whalley and Kevin Pollak, starred “Return of the Jedi” actor Davis as a dwarf who reluctantly agrees to protect a special infant named Elora Danan from an evil queen. Kilmer played the mercenary swordsman that assists in the mission.
Most folks involved in the original take have never expressed too much enthusiasm for a “Dawson’s Creek” reboot, but according to the couple who played the title character’s parents on the hit show – the original cast, and creator Kevin Williamson, might have had a change of mind.
The revelation comes via John Wesley Shipp and Mary-Margaret Humes who recently went off about not being invited to feature in Entertainment Weekly’s March 2018 reunion cover.
“I did take it a little more personally [than John] because there was all this talk about a possible reunion,” Humes told Us Weekly. “Because I’d been doing all of this on Instagram, which I — just a couple months before, I felt like I was helping to make a reunion happen. Not a photo shoot, but actually bring the show back by revisiting what it was like.”
“She’s the one that keeps in touch with the kids, I keep in touch with the kids through her. It’s kind of like a stereotypical marriage,” Shipp added. “You have to realize that that was the role that [she] fulfilled in the company and on the set. She was the glue that kept everybody going out together. She had the boat, making sure that everyone was taken care of, doing the footage. Giving the parties when people had birthdays.”
The actress now believes her efforts have led to something positive though – ‘reboot’ talk.
“I’m glad I spoke out, because Katie [Holmes] called me, James [Van Der Beek] called me, Kerr [Smith] called me, Kevin [Williamson] texted me, Julie Plec texted me,” she told the publication. “It reunited us, and now there is actual talk about, secret talk, like, ‘Maybe we should do this.’ So, fingers crossed. I don’t know anything more than anybody else, but there has been a group text going around saying, ‘Maybe it’s time.’”
Per The Hollywood Reporter, Levine has signed a first-look deal with Lionsgate that encompasses film and TV. As part of the dead, he’ll be producing “Warm Bodies: The TV show”.
Former Lionsgate exec Gillian Bohrer is launching Levin’s new prod co Megamix with the filmmaker, and said in statement that, “Jonathan and I have a shared passion for movies that defy conventional wisdom about what defines a ‘commercial movie.’ I loved the diverse slate of projects I was able to shepherd at Lionsgate, and we’re delighted to bring Megamix to a company that believes in taking risks.”
Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer starred in the 2013 movie.
Caffeinated Clint’s Ten Favourite Films of 2018
And also his least favourite films of the year!
I don’t know that it was a great year for movies – in fact, most of the films I’d been anticipating bit me like a leech on the testicle – but that doesn’t mean there still wasn’t some tasty meat in between the pellets. For every “Jurassic World : Fallen Kingdom” there was a “Blackkklansman”, and for every [Insert Amy Schumer Movie Title] Here there was “Boy Erased”. Studios stuck to the recent norm of putting style over substance when it came to their tentpoles, leaving so many of the hotly anticipated and unyieldingly-promoted fare from the likes of chafing disappointments, but those major independent labels and artistic auteurs more than made up for any bugs in the system, smearing MacAfee virus removal all over the marquee with their distinct, diverse and surprisingly unique offerings.
The year’s biggest surprise – if only because it was a project that had been simmering away for the better part of fifteen years, losing director after director, leads after leads – was undoubtedly “A Star is Born”, which not only introduced audiences to ‘up and coming’ actress Lady Gaga, whose name will now be firmly cemented in cinema as much as it’s been in music, but also tyro director Bradley Cooper, who took on a discarded Eastwood project and put his own unique and powerful spin on it. Sure, it’s a story we’d seen time and time again (in fact, this is the fourth version of “A Star is Born”), but it was the chemistry of the leads, those dynamite performances, and the emotion carved into the libretto that kept critics and audiences hooked.
Like Cooper, freshman director Joel Edgerton also hit it out of the park this year with his turn behind the camera – “Boy Erased”. What a film that was. Just sublime. Powerful stuff.
On the no-surprise front, the always-dependable “Mission : Impossible” franchise continued to impress – is it the only series that actually improves as it goes on!? – just as much as its headline act, Tom Cruise, does with the most entertaining, most skilled blockbuster of the year “Fallout”. Featuring a killer turn from Henry Cavill as its hulking villain, eye-popping stunts and action sequences, and endless reminders why Tom Cruise is still the most bankable box-office star of our times, sixth time was the charm for the now 22-year-old movie franchise.
If one genre had the monopoly on the ‘best of’ list this year it was the family category, with everything from Paramount’s “Bumblebee”, Pixar’s “The Incredibles 2” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet”, and Sony Animation’s “Spider-Man : Into the Spider-Verse” all topping most live-action fare when it comes to sheer storytelling, allure and uniqueness. Seems the computer maketh some awesome filmeth!
Also very solid, the superhero movie fare of 2018 – sure, there were the fun, enjoyable time-passers like “Deadpool 2” and “Aquaman” but at the top end of the scale were some truly magnificent pieces, like the ground-breaking and exceedingly breathtaking “Black Panther” from Marvel.
Bearing in mind I’m still to catch up with quite a few movies that have made most Top Ten lists (including “If Beale Street Could Talk”, “Green Book”, “Suspiria” and “First Reformed”) here are my top ten favourite movies of 2018 :
A Star is Born
Mission : Impossible – Fallout
A Quiet Place
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Avengers : Infinity War
The Incredibles 2
Runners-Up : Annihilation, Bumblebee, Spider-Man : Into the Spider-Verse, Ant-Man & The Wasp
And, for me, these were the least enjoyable films of the year…
Super Troopers 2
Holmes & Watson
I Feel Pretty
Truth or Dare
Jurassic World : Fallen Kingdom
Apparently Sinbad stars in the new Aladdin?
Don’t worry, he’ll be a Man in Blue come summer 2019
The Fresh Prince of Blue Heir.
Disney have unveiled a first look at Will Smith’s Genie from the upcoming live-action (in case you haven’t heard, that’s the latest thing Disney have dampened their undies for lately) ‘Aladdin’, and I gotta tell you, it is absolutely beautiful to see such full those hearts at Christmastime… as evident in social media responses.
What could Will Smith possibly have done to deserve this? Jada is gonna have to do a whole episode of “Read Table Talk” about this hair piece. pic.twitter.com/wMm5fysIg0
— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) December 19, 2018
— ToeKnee (@tonyshaazam) December 19, 2018
I have … Questions
Like why does Will Smith look like Sinbad? pic.twitter.com/lITuMfj7L7
— Krishan A Smith (@Krishan_Mamba24) December 19, 2018
Everyone talking about Will Smith as Genie and I’m sat here wondering why Aladdin looks likes he is on I’m a celeb pic.twitter.com/mP2rNJ9Sgt
— Mitchell (@MitchellDisney) December 19, 2018
For the record, and if it helps with the eye chafing, the character will be ‘blue’ in the finished film. Mike Lowery said it himself. In other words, the movie is going to be the shizzle. All it needs is a blue genie, after all. Right!?
Some other pics from the upcoming flick are below, but first, a new photo from Disney’s upcoming “Lion King” adaptation – here’s Mufasa.
- Sonic going back to the workshop; moves to 2020
- A Cobra TV series could be on the way
- Rocky 7!?
- Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns movie coming September 20
- ICYMI : Christopher Nolan’s new film gets title, full cast
- Terminator : Genisys scribe boards Star Wars movie
- Ewan McGregor-starring ‘Kenobi’ series set for Disney+!?
- Picard returns to the vineyard in first promo for new series!
- Trailer : Abominable
- Trailer : Terminator : Dark Fate
- Aladdin review : a gorgeous family film
- A League of Their Own 2 in the works?
- Will Rufus be recast in Bill & Ted 3?
- Star Wars : The Rise of Skywalker new images, new info, new hope!
- Terminator : Dark Fate poster is here!
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