Why ’47 Meters Down: Uncaged’ Wasn’t Called ’48 Meters Down’
When 47 Meters Down became a surprise summer hit in 2017, writer/director Johannes Roberts got the chance to make a sequel. His idea was to call the sequel 48 Meters Down. Hey, it worked for Ocean’s 11, 12 and 13 (and then 8) and 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street. However, the movie that came out this weekend was called 47 Meters Down: Uncaged.
Roberts spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet about the shark sequel. No matter the title, it’s a deep-diving thrill machine, but Johannes spoke about why his title changed and how he created new sharks and new terrors for four scuba diving girls. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged is in theaters now.
This is who decided to call it ’47 Meters Down: Uncaged’
48 Meters Down was a clever idea. However, the studio wanted to be sure that everyone knew this was a sequel to 47 Meters Down, that movie they liked two summers ago.
“That was a marketing thing actually,” Roberts said. “They felt that 47: Uncaged worked as a better title.”
The subtitle Uncaged was their idea too, but it works. 47 Meters Down had the heroines trapped in a shark cage. In the sequel, the scuba divers are not in a cage.
“I don’t know where it came from,” Roberts said. “It was very much marketing.”
’47 Meters Down: Uncaged’ was called ’48 Meters Down’ through production
The title was changed to 47 Meters Down: Uncaged quite late actually. Roberts had filmed the entire movie under his original title.
“I actually called it 48 while we were shooting,” Roberts said. “It’s on the clapboards. So the marketing side of things is something that’s not really my world, but yes, if it was up to me, I’d call it 48.”
Sadly, that means the next one can’t be called 49 Meters Down.
“Or, it can be and that’ll really confuse the f*ck out of people,” Roberts joked.
There’s no idea for ’47 Meters Down 3’ yet
If Roberts gets to complete a trilogy, that will be a bonus,.Roberts doesn’t have a third idea yet.
“I don’t,” Roberts said. “We shall see. We shall see how this one does. If there is a demand for a third one, I’m sure there’s always more shark shenanigans to happen.”
The idea for 47 Meters Down: Uncaged came to Roberts organically during his own scuba hobby.
“It happened very much because I was getting into cave diving and then the movie became a success and it’s like let’s do a sequel,” Roberts said. “How are we going to make something that’s interesting and different from the first movie?”
Johannes Roberts also invented new sharks for ’47 Meters Down: Uncaged’
When four friends go cave diving in Mexico, they encounter a new species of shark. These sharks evolved in the dark caves so they are blind and do not need light to see. Don’t worry, these sharks are not real.
“No, they’re a mixture of different real creatures,” Roberts said. “We sort of took the concept of cave-dwelling creatures and added that sharks can go into caves and sometimes breed. But we took the idea of it very wide that they can be trapped and evolved down there.”
The sharks in 47 Meters Down: Uncaged combine the traits of two real species.
“I used actually a mixture of Great Whites and the Greenland shark which is I think the oldest living creature on the planet, so 500 years old,” Roberts said. “They live deep down at the bottom of the ocean and occasionally they come up to the surface. They’re blind and they’re gnarly, cracked so we combined the two sharks. I had a lot of fun designing that shark.”
’47 Meters Down: Uncaged’ was exponentially harder than ’47 Meters Down’
In 47 Meters Down, Roberts filmed Mandy Moore and Claire Holt in a water tank. He used the same tank for Uncaged, but had to create the cave system in the tank.
“It was very easy to get disoriented in those caves,” Roberts said. “We very much tried to anchor everybody throughout that process. It was a tricky one with four girls, set in a cave. It’s quite tricky.”
Four main characters made it more than twice as complicated too.
“Adding in at times there were a minimum of four people there,” Roberts said. “It’s very hard for the four girls to hear each other. The technical challenges were quite immense.”