‘The Meg’ writer Steven Alten having last laugh at box office
It was the movie that everyone in the industry made fun of. In fact "The Meg" even made fun of itself in it's promotion. That is until it dominated the box office last weekend taking in 44.5 million dollars at the North American box office, plus another 97 million overseas with China contributing half of that. It all started when 15 year old Steven Alten saw Jaws and wrote a book about a bigger fish. Steve, whose mother lives in Ventnor and whose favorite restaurant is White House Subs, called into my show on Tuesday. (video above)
"I've always been a shark fan ever since I saw 'Jaws' and back then I used to read everything I could about real shark attacks. There was always a blurb about carcharodon megalodon, the prehistoric great white, but nothing commercial had ever been written about it."
Fast forward to 1995 when 35 year-old Alten read a Time Magazine article about the Mariana trench, the deepest part of the ocean, which talked about life at the bottom of the ocean and living in darkness and I just thought about that shark I used to write about and it might be pretty cool if it were feasible that that shark could live down there. Thus a franchise was born. Alten spent the next 6 months from 10 at night until 3 in the morning writing the book.
How close does the movie come to bringing Alten's pages to life? "I always thought it would make a great movie because it was so much bigger than the modern day great white, that it would dwarf 'Jaws.' Alten, who has stayed in touch with his "megheads" for 22 years, knows his fans and was surprised by the predictions the movie was given by the press. "Most people are shark fans. Most people do want to see this kind of action. I know the passion that they have for this kind of thing," he says.
Alten says there are a lot of parallels between "Jaws" and "The Meg" but while Jaws spent time on the characters life interaction, Alten devoted his plot to the shark, making sure there was lots of action, which Warner Brothers brings to life in the shark movie of the summer. Is the film what Alten envisioned when he wrote "The Meg?" He says, "absolutely."
More from New Jersey 101.5: