Director Ben Wheatley has given an update on where things stand with his new film The Meg 2.
The High-Rise director is set to take on the sequel to the 2018 shark-centric Jason Statham blockbuster, and has confirmed the actor’s claims that it will start filming early next year.
Asked by NME when production commences, Wheatley replied: “January, if what Jason Statham is saying in the press is to be believed, yes.”
Elaborating on conversations he has had since with Statham, the director said: “Yeah, yeah. I’ve talked to him a few times. It’s really exciting. I’ve been really looking forward to working with him.
“I’ve been doing storyboards now for The Meg 2 for seven months. It’s very present in my mind. It’s gonna be massive. It’s really really exciting.”
Wheatley also addressed Statham’s legendary on-set chess matches, admitting he is a little nervous about challenging his star.
“Yeah, I’ve seen that on the making-ofs,” the director admitted. “My chess game is not great so I’m slightly worried about that. If it was Connect4 I’ve got more of a chance. I haven’t been beaten since 1988.”
Wheatley previously opened up about taking on the Meg franchise in the sequel, admitting he felt “a heavy responsibility”.
“A lot of it is respecting The Meg, and trying to make sure it’s a great Meg film,” he told ComicBook.com.
“And as you can see from the movies I’ve made, they’re not necessarily, it’s not … when you go and do Doctor Who, I don’t completely change it because I wanted to do it. I didn’t want to necessarily make it something completely different that nobody recognised, you know? So there’s that element of back and forth.”
Wheatley added: “But it’s an opportunity to do action on such an insanely large scale, that it’s just unbelievable. From doing Free Fire, which was, I thought, was all my Christmases came at once in terms of action, this is just unbelievable. And just doing the storyboards for it, just thinking and going, ‘Oh,’ it’s just … I feel a heavy responsibility for it, to make sure that it kind of delivers on all the, to all the big shark fans out there.”