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Meg 2: The Trench Has Landed A Chinese Superstar

In 2018, Jason Statham's starring role in "The Meg" proved Hollywood's latest capitalization on audiences' fervor for giant shark movies. The action film is directed by Jon Turteltaub and based on author Steve Alten's 1997 novel, "Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror." 

The movie spent nearly two decades in development hell at various studios before Warner Bros. acquired the rights in 2015 (via Tracking-Board). According to The Hollywood Reporter, "The Meg” wound up being a successful co-production between Warner Bros. and China Media Capital's Gravity Pictures, and the film's starring cast includes Chinese actress Li Bingbing alongside Statham.

"The Meg" was a box office hit in the U.S. and internationally, as according to Box Office Mojo, the film clocked in as the 21st highest-grossing movie of 2018 domestically, with $145.4 million made in the U.S., but it soared with international audiences, grossing an addition nearly $385 million on a reported $130 million budget. Despite its financial success, "The Meg" struggled with critics and general audiences, with only a 46% critics rating and 42% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Despite the mixed reviews from moviegoers, a sequel to "The Meg" is on its way. The movie will be called "Meg 2: The Trench" and is loosely based on Alten's sequel novel, "The Trench." The upcoming sequel will reportedly lose Bingbing — who plays an oceanographer named Suyin in the first movie — from its cast, but will gain a major Chinese superstar in her place (via Variety).

Wu Jing will star alongside Jason Statham in The Meg sequel

According to Variety, Wu Jing — reportedly China's highest-grossing male actor of all time — will join the cast of "Meg 2: The Trench" alongside Jason Statham, with Ben Wheatley now in the director's chair. 

Wu has found enormous success writing, directing, and acting in movies and television within China. According to Box Office Mojo, one of Wu's latest movies, "The Battle of Lake Changjin," grossed nearly $900 million in China alone. The film's sequel, "Water Gate Bridge," is performing well in theaters in China right now, as it was released on February 1, 2022 and has already made over $480 million (via Box Office Mojo).

Recently, "Meg 2: The Trench" also cast Sienna Guillory, Skyler Samuels, and Sergio Peris-Mencheta (via THR), while Cliff Curtis and Page Kennedy are reprising their roles. The upcoming film's production told Variety that although they do not have a female lead Chinese actress casted at the moment, actress Shuya Sophia Cai will also return as Li's character's daughter Meiying, and that the movie will feature "lots of women and an incredibly diverse cast." 

According to Alten's website, there are seven books in his "Meg" series, which means Statham could be fighting giant sharks for years to come, as long as "Meg 2: The Trench" proves as profitable as the first. Variety previously reported that filming for the sequel began in early February 2022.