American films

Spoilers! Rainn Wilson explains why that bloody ending to The Meg could’ve been worse

If you’ve seen the blockbuster shark movie you’ll know what happens to Rainn Wilson’s character – but his fate was supposed to be more grim. Director John Turteltaub cut the scene to avoid an R rating for the film

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 August, 2018, 1:18pm
UPDATED : Monday, 13 August, 2018, 1:18pm

Spoiler alert! We’re discussing the ending of The Meg. If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t want to know, just ate lunch or are a fan of The Office, STOP READING NOW.

The Meg unleashed a prehistoric megalodon shark that tallied up an impressively bloody death count before action hero Jason Statham killed it.

Thankfully, one of the victims was Rainn Wilson’s obnoxious billionaire tech entrepreneur and sea exploration investor Jack Morris, whose spectacular death even pleased Wilson.

“I hope that mine is up there among the greatest shark deaths of all time,” says Wilson. “If you don’t get eaten in a shark movie, there’s a possibility you’re in the sequel. But if you do get eaten, well, what a way to go.”

In The Meg, Morris stealthily heads to sea in the dark of night with a mercenary force to kill off the giant prehistoric super-shark that is threatening his major underwater exploration investment.

It appears that explosives dropped in the water kill the beast, which floats to the surface. But when Morris sends one of the guys to extract its teeth as a hunting trophy, they realise that the carcass is actually a dead whale – and the real meg is coming at them.

The Meg review: Jason Statham, Li Bingbing battle giant shark in big-budget B movie

As they speed away, Morris falls from the boat. He panic-swims to the floating whale to get out of the water, but the shark takes a big bite, circles back and swallows Morris entirely.

“I’m not scared of being eaten by a shark because it would be an amazing way to go,” says Wilson. “I’m 52 right now. I’m ready to meet my maker, I’ve had a good run, especially if it [involves] being eaten by a shark.”

His death could have been much worse. In the original cut of the film, the shark had bitten off the entire bottom half of Morris in the first nibble, before going in for big bite No. 2 – the upper half.

Director Jon Turteltaub reluctantly trimmed the gory shot to keep The Meg from receiving a restrictive R rating.

“The camera had craned up to show that it’s only Morris’ head, shoulders and arms left. It’s just the top third of Rainn Wilson,” says Turteltaub. “And it was freaking awesome.”

Wilson didn’t even know that the scene had been cut back.

“Really? The cut I saw, I was in half,” Wilson says. “I’m disappointed. Especially since I’m finding it out from [a reporter]. But I guess they couldn’t show half a corpse hanging from a bloody whale. Maybe it will be on the DVD.”

The 12 best sea monster movies ranked, if The Meg doesn’t float your boat

He does have memories of shooting the scene aboard a 15-metre (50-foot) plastic foam whale dressed with blood, guts and blubber.

“They would spray it down with more blood and gore,” says Wilson. “They had this one area with hand holds built into the blubber, so I could pull myself up.”

I’m not scared of being eaten by a shark because it would be an amazing way to go.
Rainn Wilson

Hero Jonas Taylor (Statham) ultimately did in the killer shark, running his submarine across the creature’s massive midsection to cut it open. As blood spews out, it attracts shivers of hungry sharks, who rip the meg to death in a feeding frenzy.

Turteltaub insists the creature is finished.

“Well, this one is dead,” he says. “But if the movie does well, then, Lord, there’s never one of any animal. You’ll see megs everywhere if this thing grosses over US$100 million.”