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Casting Call: Meg

Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror was succeeded by four other novels, so we need a leading man worthy of a franchise. It's high time Idris Elba headed up a series—we loved him in The Wire and Luther. IfJames Bond series doesn't snatch him up, we think that Meg could use the darkly humorous style he's honed through his television work. Jonas Taylor is a U.S. Navy diver-turned-paleontologist, and Elba has the physique, the grizzled look, and that British poise to take on the role.


Paleontologists hypothesize that the megalodon quite closely resembled a great white shark—for that reason, we hope the filmmaking crew will exhume the ashes of the shark from Jaws, affectionately nicknamed Bruce by director Steven Spielberg, to play Meg. What better way to celebrate his 40th death-iversary at the hands of a hapless three-man crew and a well-timed air tank explosion? Plus, the novel opens with a crazy sequence we hope filmmakers will preserve, in which the megalodon takes down a tyrannosaurus rex. Man-eater versus man-eater: a role perfect for film's most terrifying prop.


Masao's daughter, D.J.'s sister, and Jonas Taylor's soon-to-be second wife, Terry plays a central role through the Meg series. Chiaki Kuriyama played the decidedly un-daughterly Gogo Yubari in the first Kill Bill film, but we think she's the lady for the job. Plus, she and director Roth have a Tarantino connection.

Masao's son D.J. accompanies Taylor and his father on their submersible adventure. (Spoiler alert: He's one of the first casualties.) Though it's a fairly short-lived role, Korean-American actor Justin Chon seems a match. Thus far, he's mostly had bit parts in television series like House, M.D. and New Girl—and a performance as Eric in the Twilight Saga films is probably his most recognizable feature effort. The gore in Twilight is fairly toothless (excuse the pun), so perhaps he's ready to step it up a notch (or seven) with Roth.


Jonas Taylor's estranged wife Maggie features prominently—at risk of giving too much away, she definitely fills the "damsel in distress" quota in a stereotypical action flick. Producers might consider Sienna Miller, who glowed in her recent Broadway gig as Sally Bowles of Cabaret. We're still talking about her role as Edie Sedgwick in Factory Girl, where she starred opposite Guy Pearce, and we can imagine a similarly electric connection with Idris Elba.

Best friend of our hero, Masao Tanaka convinces Taylor to return to the deep after his first megalodon sighting. Togo Igawa, perhaps best known on this side of the Pacific for his role in Memoirs of a Geisha (he played Tanaka, the man who sells Chiyo into geisha life), combined a sort of lord-overseer nature with a quasi-love interest in that film, a range of expression that often lacks from gore-heavy blockbusters. We think he has the stoicism and austerity to lull Jonas Taylor towards an ill-fated journey back into the depths.