POLL: Should Universal Make Another Jaws Movie?
With so many older franchises from the 70’s and 80’s still being mined for gold by studios (Star Wars, Halloween, Ghostbusters, Rambo, etc) there is still one series that no one seems to want revived: Jaws. Is it safe for Universal Pictures to go back in the water and make another Jaws movie? Should it be a legacy sequel, a reboot or a straight-up remake? Let us know in the polls below!
Artist/screenwriter Ian Fried (Spectral) provided us with our header art. You can take a look at the full-size “fakebuster” Jaws poster in the gallery below, and buy a t-shirt version by clicking here and entering the code SPRING19 at checkout for 20% off a short-sleeve t-shirt.
PROS OF A NEW JAWS MOVIE: Steven Spielberg arguably made a perfect film with 1975’s Jaws, creating a remarkable chemistry between the three leads (Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw) and executing brilliant scenes of terror involving the title shark that still frighten audiences to this day. While Universal may have tried to make sequels in the 70’s and 80’s, they never had three key ingredients: A great director, Steven Spielberg’s input, or Richard Dreyfuss to star. The Oscar-winning actor’s oceanographer character Matt Hooper never reappeared despite surviving the events of the first film along with the late Roy Scheider’s Chief Martin Brody.
Much like the recent Halloween -which brought back John Carpenter to consult, Jamie Lee Curtis to star and artful director David Gordon Green to helm- if Universal can somehow wrangle those three elements along with a killer script it could make for an amazing revival of a franchise that’s been dormant since 1987. We could imagine a suspense-oriented director like Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room), Jordan Peele (Get Out), Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible – Fallout) or even New Englander Ben Affleck (Argo) bringing a contemporary take on a legendary property. You could also hire a dependable middle-aged actor to portray one of Chief Brody’s sons Sean and Michael, say a Jon Hamm or a Josh Brolin?
Another option is reboot the series entirely, taking it out of the New England summer town of Amity and repurposing it in the beaches of California or even Australia. Ideally, though, a new Jaws film would follow the Halloween template in ignoring all the previous sequels and being a direct sequel to the original, as opposed to a Jaws 5.
CONS OF A NEW JAWS MOVIE: The original Jaws is credited with creating the modern blockbuster, but when Universal set out to make legit sequels (Jaws 2, Jaws 3-D and Jaws: The Revenge) they did so to diminishing returns amid a market that became oversaturated with ripoffs (Piranha, Orca, Great White). Even though the sequels proved Jaws is not sacred to Universal, it is possible that lightning just cannot strike twice with a series like this that is predicated on the shock factor of a great white shark attacking a beach along the eastern seaboard. It’s also possible -even highly likely- that neither the 72-year-old Spielberg or 71-year-old Dreyfuss have any interest in tarnishing their legacies with a potentially cringe-worthy new entry in a series that wore out its welcome three decades ago. All this despite Dreyfuss doing a fun parody of Matt Hooper in 2010’s Piranha 3D.
As for a reboot, there are now many contemporary films like 47 Meters Down, The Meg, Open Water, Deep Blue Sea and, yes, Sharknado that have mined the iconography of shark terror to a ridiculous degree. Even Spielberg himself parodied his own film in the opening of 1979’s 1941, as well as in the future scenes of 1989’s Back to the Future Part II. Straight-up remaking such a beloved film like Jaws also seems like a fool’s errand, but stranger things have happened.
Who would you want to star in a new Jaws film? Who should direct? Should they just leave well enough alone? Let us know in the comments below!