Sunday, 25 September 2016

Li Bingbing in talks for shark thriller Meg

After years swimming in the depths, prehistoric shark thriller Meg is finally reaching the surface, with director John Turteltaub (National Treasure) busy gathering his cast. Now news arrives via Variety that Li Bingbing, who knows a little something about dealing with huge dangers after Transformers: Age Of Extinction (2014), is in talks to join the roster.

Adapted by Dean Georgaris (The Manchurian Candidate) and James Vanderbilt from Steve Alten's 1997 novel, Meg focuses on an international underwater observation platform, spearheaded by Chinese scientists, that is probing the depths of the ocean. When it comes under attack from an unknown creature (which turns out to be a prehistoric shark related beast known as a Carcharodon Megalodon), the research station's submersible is left disabled and trapped at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Chief oceanographer Dr. Zhang Suyin recruits former Navy captain and expert diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) for a risky rescue mission. Jonas has his own history with the creature, after being forced to abort his mission and abandon half of his crew years ago after an attack. Now he will have to confront his history and his fears as he takes on the deep sea leviathan once again...

Given the slight switch of setting from Alten's original source novel, adding to the Asian contingent was key. Fan Bingbing (X-Men: Days Of Future Past) had already been cast, but has a schedule clash, with Li as her likely replacement.

With the likes of Jessica McNamee (The Vow), Ruby Rose (Orange Is The New Black) and Masi Oka (Heroes) also in the cast, Meg is taking aim at a 2 March 2018 release in the US, with no confirmed UK date as yet.

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