Louis Leterrier is in talks to helm In The Deep, the Black List script by Anthony Jaswinski about a lone surfer attacked by a shark and stranded on a reef must find a way back to shore before succumbing to her injuries. This is the script that sparked a feeding, or rather bidding frenzy, last September. It will be produced by Weimaraner Republic Pictures partners Lynn Harris and Matti Leshem.
When it comes to shark movies, the high bar remains Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, which despite the arcane mechanical shark, holds up remarkably well because of the character interplay between Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss, and the sheer terror of a new monster that ushered in the blockbuster business as we know it. I have fond memories of Renny Harlin’s guilty pleasure Deep Blue Sea, but most everything else reverts to the low ebb, especially those awful Sharknado films. Here, the filmmakers are aiming high, looking to make an elevated genre film with a heroine you can root for.
Tonally, the spec is described as a cross between 127 Hours meets Jaws, with a touch of Gravity thrown in for good measure. A young woman who is dealing with the recent death of her mother is surfing on an isolated beach and gets stranded 20 yards offshore on a buoy. What lies between her and the shore is a huge great white shark. It’s an emotional piece for a young twentysomething star.
Leterrier helmed the first two Transporter films, and more recently Now You See Me and the upcoming Sacha Baron Cohen pic Grimsby. Harris worked with Leterrier on Clash Of The Titans while she was a Warner Bros exec, and they have a shorthand. He came in with a take that knocked them out.
“Louis’ take knocked us out and our intention is to elevate this above the genre, making terrifying but psychologically deep,” Lesham said. “It has the makings of incredible survival story, but it also goes to the very core of fear on every level. It is a really frightening movie.”
Leterrier is repped by CAA and Management 360.