There must be something in the water, because sharks are back in a BIG way. 2023 has already blessed us with the upcoming The Meg 2, Big Shark, The Red Triangle, Xavier Gens' upcoming Seine-set bloodbath, and today's exciting news from Variety that Deep Blue Sea director Renny Harlin is returning to make a splash with Deep Water.
The shark-attack thriller will be the first project from a new production company launched by Gene Simmons (yes, that Gene Simmons) and Gary Hamilton, titled Simmons/Hamilton Prods. According to Variety, the standalone banner will produce 25 movies over an initial five-year period, with a focus on action, thriller and genre titles with global franchise potential.
First up: Deep Water, which sees Die Hard 2's Harlin return once again to the world of fishy frights:
Deep Water tells the tale of an eclectic group of international passengers whose plane, en route from Los Angeles to Shanghai, is forced to make an emergency landing in shark-infested waters. The terrified group is forced to work together and overcome their differences if they hope to escape their sinking plane and the frenzy of sharks drawn to the wreckage.
Simmons, Hamilton, Arclight Films’ Ying Ye and Rob Van Norden produced, and Arclight Films is launching worldwide sales on Deep Water at the Cannes market.
1999's Deep Blue Sea, which starred Saffron Burrows, Samuel L. Jackson, LL Cool J and Michael Rapport, is considered to be one of the more successful in the shark attack genre, grossing over $165 million worldwide. Harlin is obviously keen to return to the genre (and we're keen to have him back):
“I’ve had my greatest success when working with planes or sharks [...] Getting to combine those two of my favorite thriller elements in a character-driven action adventure is a dream come true. I can’t wait to take the audience on the scariest plane ride of their lives. Gene and Gary both are my old friends and I’m excited to rock ’n’ roll through the friendly skies with them.”
Simmons, of course best known for his work with shock rock legends KISS, is excited to jump into Deep Water too:
“Throughout my storied history in the music business, I’ve met all sorts of characters, but Gary Hamilton is the real deal! He’s a remarkable film executive and a great collaborator who, along with the fantastic team at Arclight Films, brings his expertise and outstanding knowledge of the film industry to this partnership. I am pumped and excited to be launching Deep Water as our first project together with the action maven Renny Harlin at the helm.”
Further details for Deep Water are still under wraps, but we'll be snapping up all the news as and when we get it - keep checking back for updates!