Summer might be coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop watching summer blockbuster movies. Netflix recently announced that the entire Jaws franchise will be making its home on the giant streaming platform in September.
The first two movies in the franchise were bonafide box office hits even though the sequel made less than half of the original. The third and fourth films made little to no splash. However, Netflix is giving everyone a chance to decide for themselves.
The original ‘Jaws’ was the first summer blockbuster
It’s hard to imagine a time when the term “summer blockbuster” didn’t exist, but it wasn’t all that long ago. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss, the movie blew audiences away with its release in 1975. Following the story of Chief Martin Brody (Scheider) trying to protect his small town of Amity Island from a man-eating shark changed the way everyone viewed the ocean.
Based on the book by Peter Benchley, Jaws actually caused such an uptick in shark killings that Benchley went on to start his own ocean conservation program. Later in life, the author expressed regrets for causing people to fear the animal so much.
Roy Scheider didn’t want to work on the sequel
Even if the sequel was a box office success, that doesn’t change that Roy Scheider was not happy to reprise his role as Chief Brody. However, he was contractually obligated to do so.
According to Michael Smith, president of the Roy Scheider Fan Club, “Universal offered to forget about his quitting The Deer Hunter if Roy would agree to do Jaws 2. They also offered to count Jaws 2 as two films, so that he would be out of his contract with Universal after the film was completed. Although both Spielberg and Richard Dreyfuss wanted to be part of the Jaws sequel, the delays in Alabama on Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) kept them both out of the production.”
Regardless, Scheider’s performance as Brody was still good, and audiences were mainly pleased with the story and acting.
‘Jaws: The Revenge’ involves a psychic connection between Ellen Brody and the shark
The third and the fourth movies in the franchise are admittedly a little out there. In Jaws 3D, the shark follows the Mike Brody brothers, played by Dennis Quaid, to his job at Sea World in Florida. The shark breaks into the amusement park and terrorizes staff and visitors alike.
In Jaws: The Revenge, the shark packs up its life in the coastal waters of Amity Island after eating the younger Brody brother. It then packs up and makes the trek to the Bahamas, where Mike Brody now lives. Nobody is really sure what the shark is getting revenge for, but Ellen Brody is adamant that’s its reason for killing her younger son. At this point, it’s been almost twenty years since their first ancestor was killed by Chief Brody. The shark in Jaws: The Revenge also roars like a dinosaur when it comes up out of the water. Fans were shocked on multiple levels considering great white sharks don’t roar.
Regardless, Netflix subscribers can sit back and enjoy the full Jaws experience on Sept. 16.