Rebecca director Ben Wheatley's next project is the sequel to The Meg

Roisin O'Connor
·2-min read
Li Bingbing and Jason Statham in The Meg (2018) (Rex Features)
Li Bingbing and Jason Statham in The Meg (2018) (Rex Features)

The Meg 2 has found its director in Ben Wheatley, whose updated take on Daphne du Maurier’s novel Rebecca was recently released on Netflix.

Warner Bros is tasking Wheatley with overseeing the sequel to its hit 2018 thriller, The Meg, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The original film, loosely based on Steve Alten’s 1997 sci-fi novel, starred Jason Statham as a shark expert trying to hunt down a giant prehistoric shark, the megalodon.

Directed by Jon Turteltaub, the film received mixed to negative reviews but was a box office smash, earning a global $530m (£406m).

Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose and Winston Chao were among the supporting cast.

Wheatley’s credentials include a number of horror and crime projects, such as Kill List and Sightseers.

He received praise for his 2015 dystopian thriller High Rise, which starred Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Irons, and was based on the 1975 novel by JG Ballard.

This was followed by the action-comedy Free Fire, starring Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy and Armie Hammer.

Wheatley was reunited with Hammer for 2020’s Rebecca, which also stars Lily James and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Armie Hammer and Lily James in ‘Rebecca'Kerry Brown / Netflix
Armie Hammer and Lily James in ‘Rebecca'Kerry Brown / Netflix

Rebecca has received mostly negative reviews from critics, who have compared it unfavourably to Hitchcock’s 1940 adaptation starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine.

The Independent’s review called Wheatley’s film a “dreary, garish adaptation” likening James and Hammer to “two planks of wood” and criticising the cinematography.

“Both Monte Carlo and Manderley are staged like Tatler spreads, slick and luxurious in every moment,” critic Clarisse Loughrey said.

“It would have been a bold choice for a director to tell one of the great Gothic stories with such a vibrant palette, but Wheatley never truly dedicates himself to the task.”

She concluded: “There are too many pretty, hollow distractions along the way. The pace becomes chaotic, like someone rifling through a cabinet searching for whatever stimulation they can find – kisses, tears, expensive cars. This Rebecca is du Maurier reduced to an airport novel.”

See our list of Netflix’s biggest critical flops here.

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