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The Meg 2 Release Date, Cast, And Plot - What We Know So Far

Jaws told us we'd never go in the water again. Thankfully for fans of 2018's The Meg, that wasn't the case. The sci-fi/action flick gives us Jason Statham as disgraced rescue diver Jonas Taylor on a mission to rescue his ex-wife from the deep. Taylor and his team soon discover they've run afoul a megalodon — a huge shark that should have gone the way of the dinosaurs millions of years ago. 

With a Rotten Tomatoes aggregate score of 45 percent, it's clear at least a thin majority of critics would rather The Meg sink to the bottom of the ocean, but once the film grossed over $530 million worldwide, those cinephiles' hopes were crushed. As early as October 2018 — two months after the film's release — The Meg's producers confirmed a sequel was in the early stages of development. In a January 2020 newsletter, Steve Alten — who wrote the 1997 novel upon which The Meg is based — told his fans that a script for the sequel existed, and that it was named Meg 2: The Trench. Later that year, THR confirmed Ben Wheatley had been tapped to direct the follow-up.

But there's still plenty of questions unanswered. When will we be able to see Meg 2? Should we expect the same cast? And who will the heroes be facing off against this time? Another megalodon? Two megalodons? Three super-duper-MEGA-megalodons? We've done our best to distill all the info floating out there to give you as clear a picture as we can.

When can we expect Meg 2 to bloody up the waters?

We don't yet have a release date for Meg 2, but based on the production of the original film, we can make a pretty good guess.

The Meg spent well over a decade in limbo, jumping from studio to studio. It landed at Warner Bros. in 2015, and the final choice for Jon Turteltaub as director came in March 2016 after Hostel's Eli Roth bowed out due to creative differences. Two years and four months later, in August 2018, The Meg hit theaters. 

Fresh off the release of his mystery drama Rebecca, Ben Wheatley was chosen to bring Meg 2 to life in October 2020. So, if the production and release of Meg 2 follows a similar track to that of its predecessor, it would put it in a perfect position to come out in summer 2023. The sequel could potentially be ready for release by early 2023 or even late 2022, but an action movie with (potentially) impossibly huge sharks has "summer blockbuster" written all over it.

Who will be in Meg 2?

There haven't been any official announcements for the cast of Meg 2, but there are some good guesses based on what we know so far. 

The surest bet is the return of Jason Statham as the hero Jonas Taylor. In their October 2020 report about Ben Wheatley being chosen as director, THR also claimed Statham was expected to return and that he would be "creatively involved." Another shoo-in is Li Bingbing whose character Suyin forges a powerful romantic bond with Taylor. As the actors who portrayed some of Taylor's only surviving crew, Page Kennedy and Ruby Rose could also find their way back. 

One potential question mark is Sophia Cai, who plays Suyin's daughter Meiying in The Meg. Cai turned 10 years old the month The Meg hit theaters. Recasting an actor that young is common for various reasons, particularly if the amount of time that's supposed to have passed between a movie and its follow-up doesn't match the aging of the actor.

What can we expect in Meg 2's story?

Almost no story details have been released about Meg 2: The Trench, though just its name gives us some hints about what to expect. 

In a September 2018 newsletter, author Steve Alten expressed his hope that the follow-up to The Meg would be based on the second novel in his book series, The Trench. One of the reasons the sequels to Jaws failed to live up to the original, Alten wrote, was that "Peter Benchley only wrote the one Jaws novel." The fact that the sequel to The Meg will reportedly be titled Meg 2: The Trench pretty strongly implies the screenwriters agreed with him.

However, there are some significant differences between The Meg and the source material which make the notion a movie based on The Trench challenging. The monster shark of the novel is Angel — the larger, deadlier offspring of the megalodon Taylor and his team face in the first book. In their pursuit of Angel, the heroes discover members of another ancient species supposed to be extinct — the Kronosaurus — are alive and well in the Mariana Trench. While not individually as large as the megalodons, the Kronos have learned to hunt in packs. 

One glaring issue, however, is that while in Alten's Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror, Taylor's crew captures the young megalodon Angel after killing its mother, that's one of the scenes left out of The Meg. Not to mention that Taylor is a marine biologist and paleontologist in the books, while this was changed to make him a rescue diver in the movie, meaning he would have less desire to study a creature like Angel. 

In light of this, it's obvious Meg 2: The Trench will need to steer away from the source material at least as much as its predecessor; we'll have to wait a bit longer to find out just how much.