The Meg chomped its way into theaters this past weekend and has, for the most part, exceeded box office expectations. While this is no guarantee of a franchise at this point, nor any guarantee that the movie will actually break even, it’s significantly more than had been projected. The promise that this could go on and that we could see further movies has never been more real. And for the millions of Meg fans around the world, that’s incredibly exciting. After all, this one project has taken over twenty years to finally make its way to the big screen. Meg had been optioned as a motion picture before the novel had even been released and since then, author Steve Alten has continued to build a series that now consists of six novels with a seventh on the way.
And as those books have gone on, they’ve gotten absolutely insane. For fans of the books, now that the movie is coming out, it’s almost surreal to remember a time when this was just about an enormous shark. Because everything after that has become the aquatic Jurassic Park. There are dozens of other creatures that have been introduced throughout the series. If the franchise is lucky enough to continue, there are so many creatures other than the Megalodon itself that would not only appeal to longtime fans, but leave audiences with their collective jaw on the floor as well.
Because there are so many of them, we have to narrow it down a bit. If anything, though, that should be the thing that convinces you to at least give these over-the-top prehistoric sharksploitation books a glance, because the titans we’ll be looking at in this list are truly the tip of the iceberg.
Going into the second Meg novel, The Trench, I distinctly remember being thrown for a loop because I’d expected the sequel to play out much like the Jaws series—basically saying, “here’s a shark in a situation that’s mostly the same, but slightly different.” As ridiculous and explosive as that first book had been, The Trench really set the tone for what the Meg franchise would become by adding more prehistoric deep-sea creatures to the mix; in this case, the Kronosaurus.
This animal was a giant prehistoric reptile from the late Cretaceous period that was a close cousin of the Mosasaurus made famous by the two recent Jurassic World movies. It’s hard not to smile with giddy, childlike glee imagining the prospect of those two creatures getting to share the screen at some point in time.
Leviathan has become a catch-all term in the world of aquatic horror, even to the point of literally being the title of a deep-sea horror movie. It’s often been associated with a general sea monster, the term originally coined to describe a great sea serpent in the Hebrew Bible. The name was eventually, scientifically given to an ancestor of the modern day sperm whale. Leviathan Melvillei, or Livyatan, was a species of massive whale. Reaching up to fifty-seven feet, Livyatan was one of the largest predators that ever existed.
Having a massive predatory whale to contend with could be undeniably entertaining on the big screen. Livyatan is also one of the recent additions to the Meg canon, making its debut appearance in 2016’s Meg: Nightstalkers.
Another recent addition to the Meg canon, making its way into Meg: Generations, Titanoboa still feels like it’s been a long time coming. While not as widely known as the Megalodon, this ancient, massive snake has still been included in its share of Discovery Channel specials and SyFy Original movies. Whether it makes it into a Meg sequel or a Jurassic World sequel, Titanoboa would be a perfect creature to finally be able to see on the big screen.
This one would also provide an interesting middle ground given that, while it spent quite a bit of time in the water, this was not a fully aquatic animal. It would provide an extra layer of suspense to the Meg movies if they continued on, giving characters something to be afraid of on land as well in the water.
The Loch Ness Monster
After Meg, Steve Alten wrote another book titled The Loch, which took the same basic template and applied it to the enduring myth of the Loch Ness Monster. The Loch reimagines the creature not as a long-lost plesiosaur as many have speculated it to be over time, but as a large and ferocious amphibious creature. As Meg became a series, the two crossed over, with the creature from The Loch making its way into Meg: Hell’s Aquarium.
The Loch also had a sequel of its own, titled Vostok, which even began to introduce an extraterrestrial side to the ever-expanding Meg mythology, a move that seemed to divide fans, but proved no more or less ridiculous than anything that had come before it. In general, Nessie needs more movie representation, especially on the big screen. It would be fantastic if this iconic monster could make it into a future Meg sequel, especially if it set up a potential Loch movie.
Okay, T-Rex might never have been a central creature in the Meg mythos, but it was a part of the most iconic moment in any of the novels. The original book opens with a prehistoric introduction depicting a T-Rex hunting by the water, only to be snatched up by a hungry Meg. It’s a prologue that perfectly set up the tone of Meg while clearly establishing what a serious predator the Meg was by having it take down everyone’s favorite Cretaceous badass.
Many fans of the books were disappointed that this striking moment didn’t make it into the movie, but that could easily be remedied if another sequel were to happen. It’s possible, though, that this didn’t make it into the finished film for the sake of not wanting to look like they were taking a dig at the ever-popular Jurassic franchise. The moment even matches up pretty closely with the finale of Jurassic World, in which the sea-dwelling Mosasaur takes down the Indominus Rex. But even still, it’s a scene that’s so essential to the Meg series that it would have to be included at some point.