Matt Hooper may have been in sharks but it looks like the actor who played him in Jaws, Richard Dreyfuss, is in CGI sharks as he recently told Deadline that the beloved mechanical Bruce should get a CGI makeover.
Interviewed at the Catalina Film Festival, the Oscar winning actor said: “They should put the money in to CGI [to replace] that beast and make it come alive.
Is that blasphemy? No, no, I don’t think so. The technology now could make the shark look as good as the rest of the movie.”
“I think they should do it, it would be huge and it would open up the film to younger people.”
It’s of course all the more ironic as Catalina was the the recent home of a Jaws exhibition celebrating the very practical effects of the first summer blockbuster and the talents of Jaws Production Designer Joe Alves. You can read about the incredible exhibition here: Night At The Jawseum
So, do you think Jaws will be more accessible to younger people with a CGI shark? Let’s give young folk a bit of credit. They know a classic when they see it and can appreciate it for the time it was made. It’s no different for the likes of The Exorcist or The Omen. There’s no need to tamper with a classic, otherwise you take some of those intrinsic elements that gave it that classic status in the first place.
Dreyfuss is entitled to his opinion, and he’s far from the first to have it, but he is wrong. Let’s just hope he has the education enough to admit he’s wrong.
You may have seen the footage we posted recently of sections of Jaws the Revenge getting a computer generated makeover, but that’s a different kettle of fish with sharp teeth as - like in the sequels - the shark was seen a lot more and looked a lot worse.
That footage spilt opinion of our readers, but this announcement is set to resurrect debate again, especially after the success of CGI fare, The Meg and The Shallows.
And let’s not even start how the original Star Wars trilogy came off largely the poorer for all the CGI meddling, and even Spielberg hasn’t been immune to giving his past films a nip and tuck.
However, after the bungled guns CGI’d into radios in E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial I cant really see Spielberg tampering with one of his classics again.
If anything I’d prefer to see Jaws get the same treatment that Jurassic Park got and we get to see the 1975 classic in 3D.
One thing is certain though, you can be sure that Bruce - and not a CGI replacement - will be the shark that is still working in Jaws for the foreseeable future.
By Dean Newman
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