The Meg is a giant shark movie, so you’d expect it’d be pretty gruesome. Alas, it’s also a big budget studio movie, so you know what that means. It’s gotta be PG-13 for the studio to spend all that money to bring a giant megalodon to life. Even director Jon Turteltaub regrets that he couldn’t quite go all the way with the shark carnage (although he goes as far as he can).
“Knowing that this is for Bloody Disgusting, I am so disappointed the film wasn’t more bloody or disgusting,” Turteltaub told us. “My wife is glad about it and I’m glad my kids can see the movie, but the number of really horrifying, disgusting and bloody deaths we had lined up that we didn’t get to do is tragic. There was some really good shit that didn’t survive to the final cut.”
Turteltaub actually filmed some gory deaths, but during post-production the decision was made that The Meg would be appropriate for teenagers.
“We shot or even did a lot of visual effects for [gory scenes],” Turteltaub said. “We just realized there’s no way we’re keeping this PG-13 if we show this. It’s too fun a movie to not let people who don’t like blood and people who are under, say, 14 years old into the theater. I was very hesitant to cut out a lot of blood and gore. I wouldn’t have if I thought it was wrecking the story but it wasn’t. It still looked okay. I’ll sit down privately with your audience and take them through some really nasty shit.”
And don’t get your hopes up for an unrated DVD or Blu-ray, because all of those gory deaths require visual effects that would be too expensive to justify.
“The problem nowadays with those unrated DVDs is you used to have a bunch of scenes that were easy to either shoot or leave on the cutting room floor,” Turteltaub said. “Now to finish a scene costs millions in VFX. No one’s going to be spending millions of dollars just to have a little extra bonus footage.”
So since we’ll never see it, Turteltaub told us about one gory death scene. The character still dies, but not as graphically.
“I don’t want to spoil too much but there was a death in the movie of one of the leading characters where you thought he was still alive and you realized it was only his head,” Turteltaub said. “Then the reveal that that was all that was left was awesome, but needless to say quite a few people told us it was creepy and I had to cut it.”
That being said, don’t worry that The Meg is too tame. The Meg still eats a lot of people, and destroys other marine life. At least whale gore is perfectly fine in a PG-13 film.
“Oddly enough, the ratings people don’t mind chunks of whale as much as they mind chunks from a neck,” Turteltaub said. “Yet, it’s still right on the edge. I have to say there was a bite missing from a whale, it’s really gross and I think it looks really cool.”
And if you’ve seen the trailer, don’t worry too hard about Pippin the dog.
“All I can say is anyone who knows anything about movies knows that you can kill 10,000 people and the audience doesn’t care, but you harm one dog and everyone writes a letter,” Turteltaub said. “While shooting, we went through about 15 dogs. That’s just a joke.”
The Meg opens this weekend, Friday, August 10.