Steven Spielberg and National Geographic to Produce ‘Jaws @ 50’ Documentary

Steven Spielberg is diving back into the world of “Jaws” for an upcoming National Geographic documentary.

Spielberg, who helmed the iconic 1975 film adaptation of Peter Benchley’s bestselling book, will produce documentary “Jaws @ 50” (working title) through his Amblin Documentaries banner. The film celebrates the 50th anniversary of the book; the feature “Jaws” recently marked its 49th anniversary on June 18, 2024.

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Nedland Media’s Laurent Bouzereau will direct the documentary that includes footage and photography from the Benchley and Spielberg archives, plus all-new interviews from the worlds of film, literature, pop culture, and ocean conservation.

Author Benchley’s legacy further lives on with ocean conservation and marine policy advocate Wendy Benchley, who will be featured in the film along with branding and communications specialist Laura A. Bowling.

“Jaws” changed the theatrical blockbusters forever, and also inspired various spinoffs including a Broadway play. The behind-the-scenes stories of the book’s writing and the legendary tumultuous production of the film — including being over-budget, over-schedule, malfunctioning mechanical sharks, weather issues, and sea sickness — will serve as the spine of the documentary, IndieWire can confirm.

The documentary will also center on the cultural impact of sharks and the changing dialogue about the awe-inspiring creatures.

“Jaws @ 50” will air in Summer 2025 on National Geographic and be streaming on Disney+ and Hulu as part of “Sharkfest,” Nat Geo’s signature summer event.

“‘Jaws,’ the novel by Peter Benchley and the film by Steven Spielberg, defined both popular literature and cinema,” Amblin Documentaries president Darryl Frank and Amblin Television president Justin Falvey said in a press statement. “The idea of diving into the past, present and future legacy of ‘Jaws,’ combined with an informed and inspiring discussion about sharks and the ocean in one documentary, is a unique opportunity to explore the perfect union between art and science.”

Janet Han Vissering, senior vice president of production and development at National Geographic added, “National Geographic has celebrated sharks for over two decades with our annual summer event ‘Sharkfest,’ so we naturally jumped at the chance to partner with Amblin Documentaries and Nedland Media on ‘Jaws @ 50′.’ Jaws’ not only became a massive pop culture phenomenon, but the initial fear it elicited propelled the world’s fascination with sharks, opening the door to our understanding of these apex predators and stressing the urgency in protecting our oceans.”

The upcoming documentary will be produced by Amblin Documentaries and Nedland Media in collaboration with executive producers Wendy Benchley and Bowling. For Amblin Documentaries, Frank and Falvey are executive producers. For Nedland Media, Bouzereau and Keith are executive producers. For National Geographic, Ted Duvall is the executive producer; Vissering is the senior vice president of Production and Development; and Tom McDonald is the executive vice president of Global Factual and Unscripted Content.

Most recently, Amblin Documentaries produced “Life on Our Planet,” “Encounters,” and “Big Vape: The Rise and Fall of Juul” for Netflix as well as “San Francisco Sound” for MGM+. Upcoming projects from Amblin Documentaries include “Faye,” based on the life and career of Faye Dunaway, which premiered at this years Cannes Film Festival, “Bodyguard of Lies,” with the Washington Post and Alex Gibney, “Wild, Wild Space,” with HyperObject Industries and ZPZ, and, in partnership with Imagine Entertainment, a documentary on the life and work of legendary composer John Williams.

Amblin Documentaries also produced “Strokes of Genius” – the double-Emmy nominated film about the epic rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal; and “The Contender” – in which Sylvester Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard give 16 young boxing hopefuls a shot at the big time, and which received two Emmy nominations. Other unscripted Amblin Documentaries productions include “Letters to Jackie: Remembering President Kennedy” and HBO’s “Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind” and “Mama’s Boy: A Story from Our Americas.

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