Remakes of popular, classic movies feel inevitable, but one all-time great film that’s managed to avoid being remade or rebooted yet is Jaws, the 1975 Steven Spielberg film that helped invent the modern-day blockbuster. Sooner or later – probably after Spielberg has sadly shuffled off this mortal coil – Hollywood will get around to making a Jaws reboot. But as long as Spielberg is still with us, it seems Jaws is safe. A new report reveals that Universal recently brought up a potential reboot to Spielberg – and Spielberg promptly shot it down.
No Jaws Reboot
I’m not anti-remake/reboot by nature. In fact, there are many remakes that end up being pretty damn great. And Steven Spielberg isn’t against remakes, either. His next movie is a remake of West Side Story, and his 1989 movie Always is a remake of A Guy Named Joe. But when it comes to remaking his own films, Spielberg seems less than enthusiastic, and I can’t say I disagree with him there. So far there has yet to be an official remake of a Spielberg movie, and it doesn’t seem like that will change anytime soon.
In a story we ran yesterday revealing that Spielberg’s Amblin had signed a deal with Netflix, Deadline casually dropped this info: “One area the director will not revisit is Jaws. Deadline heard recently that Universal broached the subject to reboot Spielberg’s breakout classic, with Spielberg producing, and the answer was a firm no.” They also added: “Some at Universal and Amblin said this was already known and not a recent conversation.”
I honestly cannot imagine a Jaws reboot being successful. Can you make a successful new killer shark movie? Of course! But the idea of remaking Jaws feels kind of icky to me. Let’s not mess with perfection, shall we?
The Sanctity of Jaws
While Jaws has yet to be rebooted, it did spawn several sequels – none of which even come close to the original. Spielberg didn’t direct any of the sequels, but he’s revealed in the past that the studio was hoping he would. They approached him to direct Jaws 2 and he turned it down – only to then consider stepping in when director John D. Hancock was fired from the project. However, Spielberg was too busy with Close Encounters of the Third Kind at the time, so Jeannot Szwarc ended up helming Jaws 2.
According to Spielberg, his potential sequel involvement didn’t stop there. The studio next turned to him to helm Jaws 3. But he turned that down as well. “I was done, I was done with the ocean,” he said in an interview:
“I would have done the sequel if I hadn’t had such a horrible time at sea on the first film. I would have absolutely jumped at the chance to own the sequel because I knew that when I was walking away from the sequel I was walking away from a huge piece of my life that I had helped to create, but it wasn’t a hard decision to walk way from it. I just could not imagine going back out to the ocean and sitting in a boat for 9 months. I just couldn’t imagine it. So, I was happy and relieved not to have made the movie, but also I wasn’t happy with the sequel and I realized I had let a franchise go that I could have made a good contribution to.”
In a separate interview, Spielberg said: “I would never remake one of my own movies — starting with Jaws — but there are Amblin titles in the library that could inspire new stories that were made popular by the films,” he said. “There isn’t a single title that I’ve earmarked, but yes, I would like to. I will be discussing that with Jeff [Skoll] and Ronnie [Meyer] and Donna [Langley].”
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