WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for director Jon Turteltaub’s The Meg, in theaters now.
Pitting Jason Statham against a 75-foot prehistoric shark, director Jon Turteltaub's The Meg is a roller-coaster ride that leaves a lot of blood in the water. In so doing, the filmmaker cleverly lays the groundwork to follow the path established by author Steve Alten in his 1997 novel, Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror, and its numerous sequels.
In short, there may well be a few more of these monsters lurking in the ocean depths off the Chinese mainland.
However, the seeds for a sequel aren't sown at the end of The Meg, but rather early on as we learn how the megalodon escapes the mysterious trench. As the aquatic exploration facility Mana One, led by scientists Suyin Zhang (Li Bingbing) and her father Minway (Winston Chao) investigates the channel, the scientists realize the bottom is actually a layer of hydrogen sulfide. When they pierce the gas layer, they discover a new undersea world with creatures millions of years old.
One of them, of course, is the megalodon, which attacks the Mana's research sub and its rover. When Suyin boards her own sub to attempt a rescue, the creature attacks her, too. She's saved by Jonas Taylor (Statham), who's come to rescue his ex-wife Lori (Jessica McNamee), stuck on the first sub, and to exact revenge on the monster that him his friends and career years earlier. As Jonas uses his vessel to fight off the meg, gas from vents on the true ocean floor ignites, triggering thermal explosions. Jonas, Suyin & Co. barely escape, not only the shark, but the explosions too.
Later, however, they realize the heat helped to bring the meg to the surface: It was previously prevented from crossing the trench because the water above was way too cold, but the explosions caused a temperature shift, allowing the creature to escape to open waters. They eventually kill the megalodon using a lethal injection but are quickly attacked by a second. larger shark, which is slaughtered in the film's finale.
It's obvious the temperature shift could have allowed even more of these ancient creatures to be unleashed upon a modern world. There's no tracking system to monitor what escapes the trench, so other megalodons may have wandered off instead of joining in the hut of Jonas and the Mana One scientists.
Beyond the trench, there may be other species of leviathan that made it across, too. In his subsequent novels, Alten focused on one of the megs giving birth in public waters to continue to spread the population, while a Kronosaurus was involved as the meg's ultimate enemy, leading to a monster showdown.
The Jurassic World franchise has already introduced the latter in two films, so if the Kronosaurus surfaces we could well have another MonsterVerse, albeit a deep-sea version.
In theaters nationwide, director Jon Turteltaub’s The Meg stars Jason Statham, Li Bingbing, Masi Oka, Cliff Curtis, Page Kennedy, Ruby Rose, Winston Chao and Rainn Wilson.