Universal, it seems, was interested in a Jaws restart at some point. But Steven Spielberg, the director behind the original hit classic, made sure that idea was dead in the water. It appears to be a situation on his dead body. So, at the very least, that won’t happen while Spielberg still has some breath in his lungs. But it also seems to be a signal that nothing is sacred these days, as studios are eager to find projects that can capture the attention of potential moviegoers.
Recently, it was revealed that Steven Spielberg’s company Amblin has signed a deal with Netflix. Under the pact, Amblin will produce multiple films per year for the streaming service. This is a remarkable development, given that Spielberg has criticized Netflix in the past. But buried in one of the reports covering the news was the Jaws tidbit. According to the report, “Universal brought up the subject to reboot the Spielberg escape classic, with Spielberg producing.” The answer was said to be a “categorical no”. So that’s it.
The report also notes that “this was already known and not a recent conversation”. So it’s hard to say precisely when this seemingly brief conversation took place. Either way, that won’t happen. At least not for the foreseeable future. There’s hardly any way the studio would step aside Steven spielberg for something like that to happen. Especially since Spielberg still has a deal in place to make films for the studio. And he remains one of the most respected directors working today.
It’s unclear what Universal had planned, if any. Were they looking to remake Jaws? Were they planning a sequel in the same continuity as the original? Either way, it’s easy to see why the studio might be interested. Jaws is one of the most beloved blockbusters in movie history, and the franchise has been dormant for decades. If they could sign Steven Spielberg as producer for a new album, that would be a big deal, to say the least. But it seems Spielberg is not at all interested in sullying the legacy of his beloved classic.
Jaws was released in 1975. Based on the novel of the same name by Peter Benchley in 1974, it was Steven Spielberg’s first foray into blockbuster cinema following such efforts as Duel and The Sugarland Express. It was a smash hit, grossing $ 470 million at the global box office against an announced budget of just $ 12 million. While the production was notoriously troubled, the genius of Spielberg managed to turn a difficult situation into a classic. And he also, in essence, invented the summer blockbuster as we know it.
Without Steven Spielberg behind the camera, the franchise persevered for several more entries. Jaws 2 was released in 1978, grossing $ 208 million worldwide. Both Jaws 3-D, released in 1983, and Jaws: The Revenge from 1987, were far less successful. Jaws: The Revenge, in particular, is frowned upon, enjoying a rare 0% approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. This news comes to us via Deadline.