Spoiler alert! This story discusses the bloody ending of “The Meg.”
“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 demise pleased even Wilson.
“I hope that mine is up there among the greatest shark deaths of all time,” Wilson says. “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 realize the carcass is actually a dead whale — and the real meg is coming at them.
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 52 right now,” Wilson says. “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 an 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,” Turteltaub says. “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 USA TODAY reporter. But I guess they couldn’t show half a corpse hanging from a bloody whale. Maybe it will be on the DVD.”
He does have memories of shooting the scene aboard a 50-foot plastic foam whale dressed with blood, guts and blubber.
“They would spray it down with more blood and gore,” he says. “They had this one area with hand holds built into the blubber, so I could pull myself up.”
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 that 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 $100 million.”
That’s looking increasingly likely. “The Meg” topped the box office at its opening last weekend, grossing $44.5 million in North America — well above expectations.