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Hostel director to take on giant, prehistoric shark movie Meg

The dinosaurs of Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World are grabbing all the attention (and the records) right now, but Warner Bros. Pictures is hoping to make its own monster-fueled blockbuster with giant prehistoric sharks.

After nearly 20 years in development limbo, a big-screen adaptation of Steve Alten’s 1997 novel Meg is not only moving forward, but may have landed Cabin Fever and Hostel director Eli Roth to bring the story from page to screen. Variety reports that Roth is in talks to direct the film, which follows the story of a man hunting one of the prehistoric period’s most deadly predators.

Alten’s novel follows deep-sea diver Jonas Taylor, the only survivor of an exploratory mission to the Mariana Trench that was interrupted by the attack of a Megalodon, a relative of the Great White Shark that was believed to be extinct and grew up to 60 feet long. Dismissed by the scientific community, Taylor spends years attempting to prove that such a creature could still exist at the greatest depths of the ocean, and eventually learns how right he was when he joins a former colleague on another mission to the famous trench.

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Given that the Megalodon is often touted to have been able to tear apart a Tyrannosaurus Rex in seconds, Warner is likely banking on this giant-monster movie capitalizing on the current wave of dinosaur-dominated fascination with the genre.

If Meg does indeed find its way to the screen, though, it will have taken a long and winding road to get there. Alten’s book was optioned almost immediately after publication in 1997, and was initially set up at Walt Disney Pictures for a big-screen adaptation. However, the failure of 1999’s similarly shark-fueled thriller Deep Blue Sea gave the studio second thoughts about investing in Meg, and the project stalled until Warner acquired the rights to it.

The most recent writer to draft a script for the adaptation is Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life screenwriter Dean Georgaris, whose screenplay was received well by the studio and will likely be the foundation for the big-screen version of Meg.

There’s no word yet on when the studio expects to release the film.