Ben Wheatley seems like both an unusual and yet ideal fit to tackle Warner Bros.’ mega budget giant shark sequel The Meg 2. He might never have helmed a production anywhere close to this sort of scale before, but the majority of his filmography has hinged on strong character work, an underlying sense of atmosphere and some genuinely terrifying moments, all of which should be a requirement when it comes to crafting a superior follow-up to Jon Turteltaub’s entertaining if hollow original.
However, it isn’t Wheatley’s first flirtation with blockbuster cinema, after he was originally announced to be directing Alicia Vikander’s Tomb Raider 2 in September 2019. Scheduling conflicts caused by the Coronavirus pandemic got in the way, though, causing him to drop out and be replaced by Lovecraft Country creator Misha Green.
As fans will know, Wheatley is an avid gamer, and he admitted in a new interview that despite being forced to abandon Tomb Raider 2, he’d still love to bring one of his console favorites to the big screen, naming Counter-Strike and Doom as his two chosen candidates.
“Video games and films are so intertwined, aren’t they? It’s like because they feed backwards and forwards in terms of their referencing, it’s tricky. And the things that you think are original about the games are from films often, and so when you take away the interactive element of it, there’s not much left to it, you know? I still want to make a Doom film, though. I know it’s been done, but come on. Or Counter-Strike, that would be the one I’d like to make.”
Counter-Strike doesn’t hold a great deal of cinematic potential given that there are countless action movies that occupy almost exactly the same space genre-wise, but Doom is an altogether different story. Of course, we already got a version of the property in 2005 that starred Dwayne Johnson and Karl Urban, which flopped at the box office after failing to even recoup the $60 million budget in theaters, and the only thing anyone remembers about it is the first-person shooter sequence. There was also 2019’s low budget effort Doom: Annihilation, but that was for the diehards only, so there’s still plenty of room for Wheatley to eventually make it a reality.