It’s Jason Statham vs. a giant shark in ‘The Meg’ trailer

Killer shark cinema has experienced a renaissance of sorts in recent years, with thrillers like 47 Meters Down and The Shallows turning a decent profit in theaters and the campy Sharknado films supporting a multi-film television movie franchise. Swimming onto the big screen later this year is The Meg, based on Steve Alten’s bestselling novel about a massive, prehistoric shark, and the film now has its first, toothy trailer.

Directed by John Turteltaub (National Treasure), The Meg casts Jason Statham as a deep-sea diver recruited to rescue the crew of an undersea research station terrorized by a Megalodon — a gigantic shark that was thought to be extinct. As far as premises go, it’s an interesting one, but the trailer (and the film’s title, for that matter) makes it abundantly clear that “the Meg” is the real star of this feature.

Adding to the scary (and somewhat scary-funny) atmosphere is the trailer’s use of “Beyond the Sea” as musical accompaniment to scenes of impending carnage and massive shark attacks on the horizon. The film’s “Chomp on this” tagline just hammers that self-aware aspect home.

Joining Statham in the film’s cast is Transformers: Age of Extinction and Forbidden Kingdom actress Li Bingbing, Cliff Curtis (Fear the Walking Dead), Rainn Wilson (The Office), Ruby Rose (John Wick: Chapter 2), Winston Chao (Ye Ming), Robert Taylor (Longmire), and Masi Oka (Heroes).

Hostel director Eli Roth was initially attached to direct The Meg (back when the project was titled “MEG”), as the adaptation of Alten’s novel has been in the works since the book hit shelves in 1997. At one point, the film was set up at Disney, but eventually the feature found its way to Warner Bros. Pictures (which certainly seems like a better fit for it, given the subject matter).

The script for The Meg was penned by Paycheck and The Manchurian Candidate screenwriter Dean Georgaris, along with Battleship and Red writers Erich Hoeber and Jon Hoeber. Alten’s original novel is titled Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror.

The Meg is scheduled to hit theaters August 10, and it will have screenings in the large-format Real D 3D and IMAX 3D theaters for audiences who like their gigantic killer sharks to appear as massive and virtual as possible.

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