SOUTHERN Krabi province’s joint government-private committee on development and resolving economic problems today (Jan. 29) passed a resolution refusing to allow the shooting of the sequel “Meg 2: The Trench” on its three beaches to protect the environment, Sanook.com said.
Provincial Governor Mr. Puttipong Sirimat said Indochina Productions Co., Ltd. was assigned by Deep Blue Production Company, which is part of Warner Bros. network, to liase the filming of Meg 2 in Thailand during April 16 – May 9, 2022.
The three beaches chosen for location shooting are Phra Nang, Tonsai and Railay. Replica of a resort is to be built in an open space near Chelsea Hotel and important scenes in the sea are also to be filmed here. Moreover a helicopter is to land at Tonsai beach where another temporary resort is to be built with other scenes including jet skis coming to help people in front of Railay beach.
Puttipong said all these scenes to be shot for this movie go against the Krabi Tourism Declaration that prohibits the use of jet skis, scooters, banana and parasailing boats and beach umbrellas.
Moreover the planned filming also goes against an announcement by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on zoning and environmental protection of Krabi’s Ao Luek, Mueang, Nuea Khlong, Khlong Thom and Koh Lanta districts issued in 2016 and effective for five years but renewed for two years last March.
The governor added that the shooting during April 16 to May 9 is almost a month long and would affect tourists visiting Railay and the other two beaches
“As far as I know, the production crew consists of 400 people. Yes, I would like some money to stimulate the economy of Krabi. But if the loss is as happened during filming of the movie ‘The Beach’ at Maya Bay, who is responsible if not the governor?” he asked at the meeting.
The resolution was passed by the majority of the committee members with only one member passing a vote against it but some did abstain.
The governor added that the issue of filming this movie in Krabi would now be forwarded to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to confirm the announcement or give a special dispensation.
According to Wikipedia, The Meg is a 2018 science fiction action film directed by Jon Turteltaub with screenplay by Dean Georgaris, Jon Hoeber, and Erich Hoeber, loosely based on the 1997 book Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror by Steve Alten.
The film stars Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao, and Cliff Curtis. A group of scientists encounters a 23-metre-long megalodon shark while on a rescue mission on the floor of the Pacific Ocean.
Walt Disney Studios originally purchased the film rights to the book in the 1990s but spent years in development hell. The rights eventually landed at Warner Bros. Pictures, and the film was green-lit in 2015. Turteltaub and much of the cast joined by September 2016, and filming began in New Zealand and Sanya, China, ending in January 2017.
The film is an American and Chinese co-production. The Meg was released in both countries on August 10, 2018, in RealD 3D. It was a box office success and grossed over $530 million worldwide and received mixed reviews from critics, with some describing it as entertaining but one calling it “neither good enough nor bad enough” to be fun.
Filming of the sequel The Meg 2 is to begin this week with production to take place in the UK at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, Collider.com said, quoting a report from KFTV (via Bloody Disgusting)..
The change in filming locations, however, is not the only thing that will be different about the upcoming sequel. The Meg 2 will be directed by Ben Wheatley, who replaces the first film’s director, Jon Turteltaub. Wheatley has previously worked on thrillers such as 2011’s Kill List.
This shift may be indicative of other changes as well. The Meg star Jason Statham, who plays Jonas Taylor, an adventurous paleobiologist who studies the megalodon, was disappointed with the first film’s PG-13 rating. So the shift in director and production location could have portended a shift in the direction that the sequel will take. Fortunately, it was confirmed that Statham is returning for the sequel.
Images from the original movie “The Meg.” Top and Home Page photos: Sanook.com; the two below: Looper.com