Here There Be Monsters | Pirates 5 director’s sci-fi film inspired by The Thing and Jaws (exclusive)

Here There Be Monsters - Jaws, The Thing
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Director Joachim Rønning talks exclusively to us about his original sci-fi project, Here There Be Monsters, which will be a nautical take on Jaws and The Thing.

First announced in 2018, Here There Be Monsters was billed as an original sci-fi project co-written by Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales co-director Joachim Rønning. At the time, little was revealed about its plot beyond it being a genre film set at sea.

Speaking to Film Stories ahead of the release of his latest movie, the period biopic Young Woman And The Sea, however, Rønning has revealed a telling new detail about Here There Be Monsters. Confirming that it’ll be set at sea – something of a signature location for the Norwegian filmmaker – Rønning added that it’s inspired by a couple of monster movies you might have heard of.

“As a filmmaker, you have to be developing many projects, because making any movie is a miracle – big or small,” Ronning tells us. “But yes, that’s another story that I would love to do. It’s inspired by The Thing and Jaws – it’s kind of like a mixture of that, and it takes place on the ocean again.”

Rønning also confirmed that it’s an original piece, co-written by he and his brother Andreas, and hinted that it could be his next project after the completion of TRON: Ares, which recently wrapped filming.

“I don’t call myself a writer – I have way too much respect for that [profession]. So hopefully someone can come in and help us. But it would maybe be a natural progression in my career that originated with me, the story. I’ve done a couple of sequels, biopics. I do feel that would be an interesting challenge, to have such control over the story in a way. That would be super cool to do… I have a year in editing on TRON, so we’ll do that first. Then we’ll see.”

If it happens, Here There Be Monsters will be the fourth film of Rønning’s that is set at sea. He previously made (with co-director Espen Sandberg) Kon-Tiki, the 2012 true-life indie drama about explorer Thor Heyerdahl. He then took to the high seas in a more fantastical fashion for his 2017 Pirates Of The Caribbean entry (again with Sandberg), while this summer’s Young Woman And The Sea (sans Sandberg) relates the true story of champion swimmer Gertrude Ederle’s pioneering attempt to swim the English Channel in 1926.

“I am drawn to the ocean – I love being out there,” Rønning said. “I grew up by the ocean. It’s important, I feel – we have to take better care of it. I don’t mind showing the beauty of the ocean in my films.”

Rønning wouldn’t be drawn on further plot details, though the mention of Jaws and The Thing – two of the best genre films of the 1970s and 80s – have certainly got our imaginations racing. A kind of modern-day Moby Dick, about hunters tracking down a deadly aquatic alien? Perhaps even a shape-shifting aquatic alien? We’d pay to see that.

Young Woman And The Sea is out in UK cinemas on the 31st May.

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