Jason Statham, the star of such action spectaculars as “The Transporter,” “The Expendables,” and “Death Race,” has been selected to play the leading role in the mother of all shark movies, “Meg”. Statham will play Jonas Taylor, a veteran of the Navy who holds a Ph.D. in paleontology. Taylor embarks on a quest to prove the existence in modern times of a Carcharodon Megalodon, thought to have been extinct for almost three million years. The Meg was considered at one time to be the mightiest predator in the history of the world, measuring up to 60 feet in length and weighing 70,000 pounds. Taylor will have to descend deep below the surface of the ocean into the Marianas Trench to find this prehistoric monster.

NEmVgrrtLNWjqq_1_1Shark movies have been made for decades, ever since 1975’s “Jaws,” the movie that made Steven Spielberg a superstar director. The genre has since evolved into parody with the series of “Sharknado” movies that has become standard summer fare on the SyFy Channel. However, the inclusion of someone with the star power of Statham will surely entice audiences to give “Meg” a look. Statham will be faced with a threat more dangerous than the human bad guys he is accustomed to putting away with his martial arts skills. But Statham should be up to the task. One of the jobs he had before turning to acting was being a member of the British National Diving Team. During the World Championships in 1992, he finished 12th.

It doesn’t hurt that the movie will be directed by none other than John Turtletaub, famous for his “National Treasure” films.

The screenplay is being written based on Steve Alten’s “Meg” series of novels by Dean Georgaris, the writer behind such films as “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life” and The Manchurian Candidate remake from 2004 that starred Denzel Washington.

“Meg” is certain to have the kind of thrills and action that movie audiences expect from films that feature enormous and very dangerous prehistoric animals. Fans have flocked to movies that depict prehistoric monsters in the modern world, ranging from the Jurassic Park series to the recent remake of “King Kong.”

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“Meg” is in the pre-production phase and is slated to arrive on the big screen sometime in 2017.