JAWS Documentary in the Works From National Geographic and Amblin

Laurent Bouzereau will direct the feature documentary, which will include footage and photography from the Benchley and Spielberg archives.

By: Jun. 24, 2024
JAWS Documentary in the Works From National Geographic and Amblin
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On the heels of the 50th anniversary of the bestselling book by Peter Benchley that went on to become a record-breaking box-office sensation from director Steven Spielberg, National Geographic has greenlighted JAWS @ 50 (working title), in partnership with Amblin Documentaries’ Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, Nedland Media’s Laurent Bouzereau and Markus Keith, Wendy Benchley, and Laura A. Bowling. Bouzereau directs the feature documentary, which will include footage and photography from the Benchley and Spielberg archives and all-new interviews from the worlds of film, literature, pop culture and ocean conservation.
In collaboration with ocean conservation and marine policy advocate Wendy Benchley and branding and communications specialist Laura A. Bowling, the film will capture our endless fascination with sharks and the changing dialogue about these awe-inspiring creatures. In celebration of the film’s 50th anniversary, JAWS @ 50 (working title) will air in Summer 2025 on National Geographic and stream on Disney+ and Hulu as part of Sharkfest, Nat Geo’s signature summer event.
The behind-the-scenes stories of the book’s writing and the legendary tumultuous production of the film — including being over budget, over schedule, malfunctioning mechanical sharks, weather issues and sea sickness — will serve as the spine of the documentary. JAWS @ 50 (working title) will explore the world and impact of sharks TODAY through testimonials from people who have dedicated their lives to studying and safeguarding sharks and our seas. “Jaws” gave rise to a new generation of shark aficionados, many ocean scientists, researchers, explorers, activists and die-hard fans. These experts have deepened our curiosity and understanding of sharks beyond what Benchley and Spielberg could have imagined.
“National Geographic has celebrated sharks for over two decades with our annual summer event Sharkfest, so we naturally jumped at the chance to partner with Amblin Documentaries and Nedland Media on JAWS @ 50,” said Janet Han Vissering, senior vice president, Production and Development, National Geographic. “‘Jaws’ not only became a massive pop culture phenomenon, but the initial fear it elicited propelled the world’s fascination with sharks, opening the door to our understanding of these apex predators and stressing the urgency in protecting our oceans.”
“‘Jaws,’ the novel by Peter Benchley and the film by Steven Spielberg, defined both popular literature and cinema,” said Darryl Frank / Justin Falvey, President’s Amblin Documentaries and Amblin Television. “The idea of diving into the past, present and future legacy of ‘Jaws,’ combined with an informed and inspiring discussion about sharks and the ocean in one documentary, is a unique opportunity to explore the perfect union between art and science.”
“Jaws” was a thrilling bestseller, and the film was arguably the first summer blockbuster. Both continue attracting new fans and inspiring generations of book, film and ocean lovers. JAWS @ 50 (working title) will create a thrilling sense of discovery, showcasing a new generation of ocean scientists and explorers who help us better understand sharks and deepen our understanding of their vital role in a healthy ocean. Ultimately, alongside Wendy Benchley and others, we will invite audiences to fall in love and rethink their perceptions of sharks in today’s world.
For National Geographic, JAWS @ 50 (working title) will be produced by Amblin Documentaries and Nedland Media in collaboration with executive producers Wendy Benchley and Bowling and directed by Bouzereau. For Amblin Documentaries, Frank and Falvey are executive producers. For Nedland Media, Bouzereau and Keith are executive producers. For National Geographic, Ted Duvall is the executive producer; Vissering is the senior vice president of Production and Development; and Tom McDonald is the executive vice president of Global Factual and Unscripted Content.

Photo Credit: Universal


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