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Warner Bros. Shark Pic ‘Meg’ Casts Female Lead (EXCLUSIVE)

“Battle of the Sexes” actress Jessica McNamee is set to co-star opposite Jason Statham in Warner Bros. long-awaited tentpole “Meg.”

“National Treasure” helmer Jon Turteltaub will direct the film. Chinese actress Fan Bingbing (“X-Men: Days of Future Past”) is also on board.

The film will be co-financed by Flagship Entertainment; Gravity Pictures, a division of China Media Capital (CMC); and Warner Bros. Gravity Pictures will distribute the film in China, with Warner Bros. handling the film throughout the rest of the world.

Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Belle Avery and Colin Wilson are producing. Executive producers are Wei Wayne Jiang, Barrie M. Osborne, Randy Greenberg and Gerald R. Molen. The film is dated for March 2, 2018.

The story is based on Steve Alten’s novel “MEG: A Novel of Deep Terror,” published in 1997. The title is derived from the ancient Megalodon species that has survived while being trapped in the Mariana Trench due to a barrier of cold water.

The “Meg” movie is centered on an international underwater observation program, led by Chinese scientists, which comes under attack by an unknown danger. With its deep-sea submersible disabled and trapped at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, they need rescue. Statham will portray a former naval captain and expert deep-sea diver, who’s recruited for a likely suicide mission — even though he faced the predator years before and was forced him to abort his mission and abandon half his crew.

Popular on Variety

McNamee has been building a lot of momentum with execs around town following her breakout role in the USA series “Sirens.” She recently landed a key role in the Emma Stone dramedy “Battle of the Sexes.”

She is repped by UTA and Inspire Entertainment.

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