September 21, 2023
MEG 2: The Trench | Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Water!

The biggest shark in the fossil record is returning for seconds in MEG 2: The Trench. But can the sequel capture the magic of Steve Alten’s superb novels? 

It was the biggest shark to ever swim in our oceans. And this summer Meg 2: The Trench surfaces for seconds. Regarded as one of the most powerful predators to have ever lived, the Megalodon was the most fearsome species of shark ever to grace the fossil record. Its fossilized remains suggest that this giant shark reached a length of eighteen meters and had a bite force of up to forty thousand pounds. And now, in Warner Bros’ latest sequel, three of these colossal predators are emerging from the depths of the Mariana Trench.


In the first film, a daring rescue mission inadvertently facilitated the rise of a Megalodon shark from the depths of our oceans. Once unleashed, the prehistoric monster preceded to wreak havoc on our modern world leaving a trail of death and destruction in its wake. The story was plucked from the pages of Steve Alten’s hugely successful thriller “Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror” and boasted the star power of action hero Jason Statham. The entertaining adventure loosely followed Alten’s novel and pitted Statham’s Jonas Taylor against the beast. And although the movie was a blast, it didn’t quite live up to Steve Alten’s original vision.



Fast forward to today, and the hotly anticipated sequel MEG 2: The Trench has already set the internet ablaze with its jaw-dropping first trailer. The two-minute shark-fest revealed the colossal jurassic shark predating on a Tyrannosaurus Rex. But can the movie move past the eye-widening set pieces to deliver a spectacle worthy of Alten’s novel?

In Alten’s sequel novel simply titled The Trench, paleobiologist and former deep sea pilot Jonas Taylor is working for his father-in-law Masao Tanaka at the Tanaka Oceanographic Institute. Alongside his friend Mac, Taylor is studying the only surviving Meg from the first novel. A colossal 72-foot, 31-ton monster named Angel. The beast draws crowds from around the world and is the jewel in the institute’s crown. However, Angel’s temperament swiftly changes as she enters her mating cycle leaving her aggressive tendencies to be fully unleashed. And pretty soon, she breaks free of her enclosure and follows the ocean current back to the Mariana Trench where she hopes to rendezvous with a male.

However, unbeknownst to Taylor, a geological survey has accidentally awakened more than just the Megalodons. And soon, a pack of prehistoric species known as Kronosaurs is unleashed to wreak havoc. What follows is a race against time to stop the creatures from unleashing their fury on humanity leading to an eventual collision between Meg and Kronosaur.

MEG 2 The Trench


Now, here’s where the issues arise. In the book, Kronosaurs are described as short-necked pliosaurs that lived during the early Cretaceous period. However, in the trailer for the movie, the creature pictured rising from the depths appears to be a giant octopus. Not a pliosaurs. Moreover, the novel highlights Angel as the primary Meg until the finale where she mates with a male in the depths of the Mariana Trench. Yet, in the trailer, there are THREE Megalodon’s surfacing to feast on the unsuspecting swimmers. And finally, in the book, Jonas is married to Terry Tanaka, the daughter of Masao Tanaka.

But in a strange twist, the Tanaka characters were swapped out for the Zhang family in the movie. Sadly, Minway Zhang – the lead research scientist was killed during one of the Meg’s first attacks. And in the film’s climax, Taylor and Suyin Zhang (Minway’s daughter) appeared to embark on a romantic storyline with Suyin’s daughter Meiying giving the courtship her blessing. Suyin was portrayed by Li Bingbing with Sophia Cai playing Meiying. But in another bizarre twist, Li Bingbing is not returning for the sequel, whereas Sophia Cai is returning. So the plot is already falling wide of the mark.


It seems that the movie will be playing very loosely with the source material. And those of us who were hoping for a live-action version of Steve Alten’s masterwork will now have to temper their expectations. MEG 2: The Trench will follow the same pattern as its predecessor by only featuring aspects of the novel. And it will also lean more toward the comedic aspects of the first film. In a recent interview with Collider, producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura said “We learned is you could add more comedy than we originally thought in a shark movie, in a way. So I think this movie is probably funnier. There’s certainly some big laughs in it.” 

So it would seem that the movie franchise will adopt a “more of the same” trope moving forwards and will cast off the more scientific aspects that brought us to the dance. But that could be a recipe for success. Like the first outing, the sequel looks to be a fun popcorn movie light on gore, big on humor, and packed full of jaw-dropping set pieces. And that alone will have us lining up in our droves. Just be sure to check your expectation levels at the door.



Aside from Jason Statham, the sequel brings back Cliff Curtis as Jonas’s close friend Max. And Page Kennedy returns as DJ. Sadly, there is no news on whether Ruby Rose will be returning as Jaxx. But there are a handful of newcomers to bring the ship home. Jing Wu joins the cast, alongside Skyler Samuels and Sienna Guillory who will all play pivotal roles. And thankfully, Harry Gregson-Williams returns to compose the score to maintain the continuity.

The movie is directed by Ben Wheatley, who is a surprise appointment. Wheatley is renowned as an Indie filmmaker, so having him lead a summer popcorn blockbuster has raised a few eyebrows. However, his work on Free Fire was a triumph, and found the perfect balance between action and humor. So on the surface, the appointment seems like the perfect fit.

Whether the movie can live up to the expectation remains to be seen. But I for one cannot wait to enjoy the journey.

MEG 2: The Trench swims into UK cinemas on August 4th.


Are you looking forward to MEG 2: The Trench? Would you rather see a true adaptation of Steve Alten’s novel? Sound off in the comments section below.







2 thoughts on “MEG 2: The Trench | Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Water!

  1. Thank you, Phil. Humor is fine – but not when something is trying to eat you. I understand why the movies have gone this way – for my readers, I want them to FEEL the character’s fear. And in creating a new venue to appease my fans who have been leading for first edition hardbacks (long gone)… I may have created a rod map to a future episodic TV series – something with a darker, more serious tone… thus scarier.

    Introducing MEG: Legacy, a very limited Complete Collector’s boxed set of SEVEN First-Edition Hardbacks that comprise the MEG series. However, within these gold-etched pages (bound in high-quality faux leather custom-made exteriors) are not just the seven MEG thrillers (the last – MEG: PURGATORY debuting in 2024), but hundreds of pages of brand-new never-before-published offerings—including three Angel of Death novella featuring fan-favorite Angel, the 74-foot, 70-ton albino Megalodon that inhabits the Tanaka Institute (when she’s not eating people and escaping.) Each novelle serves a purpose – to fill in time gaps between the first four books – enabling me to create the ultimate MEG super-novel spanning forty (character) years — a seven volume tale of terror and fun like no other. We’re only printing 5,000 sets — so order now at .

    BTW: I really enjoyed The MEG movie and wlll be seeing MEG-2: The TRENCH tonight.

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