Countdown to JAWSfest

I'm counting the days until JAWSfest in Martha's Vineyard. (I'll be there to co-host a Shark Movie Geek Out at Flatbread Pizza on Friday Night's Shark After Dark.)

To get ready I've been re-watching the JAWS movies and reading Patrick Jankiewicz's excellent book JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE: A JAWS COMPANION.

Here are some "fun facts" that demand to be shared:

Universal had wanted Charlton Heston to play Quint.

In Peter Benchley's novel, Hooper is having an affair with Ellen Brody and he is eaten by the shark.

Mrs. Kitner's poster notes that her son Alex was killed by the shark on June 29th -- the same day Quint says the Indianapolis sank.

"You're gonna need a bigger boat" was ad-libbed by Roy Scheider.

Director Jeannot Schwarc was hired to direct JAWS 2 based on the strength of the earthquake scenes he directed in William Castle's BUG

An early draft of JAWS 3-D revealed that the shark was the same burnt-faced shark from JAWS 2. 

Actor Mark Gilpin (Sean Brody in JAWS 2) remembers his co-star Donna Wilkes: "Donna had a lot of pressure, because she's the one who had to freak out so much in the film. Donna kept to herself on JAWS 2, because she had to constantly psych herself up."

Richard Matheson (who wrote DUEL) turned down the screenwriting job for JAWS, because he felt it was just DUEL on the water.  (Matheson later wrote a draft for JAWS 3-D)

Both Harry Shearer (Spinal Tap, The Simpsons) and June Foray (Rocky the Flying Squirrel) recorded voices for townspeople in JAWS. Foray delivers one of Michael Brody's line ("The pond's for old ladies.") 

When sequels were being developed for JAWS, Spielberg was only interested in one: a prequel about Quint on the Indianapolis. 

Dennis Quaid told Movieline magazine that the lowest point in his life was in Times Square when a pimp recognized him from JAWS 3-D.

The films' sharks are this long: 
  • JAWS - 25 feet
  • JAWS 2 - 30 feet
  • JAWS 3-D - 35 feet
  • JAWS: The Revenge - 23 feet
For more, buy the book.  Or visit JAWSFEST August 9 - 12 in Martha's Vineyard.

At the festival, you can catch KEVIN & MATT GEEK OUT ABOUT SHARK MOVIES on Friday night during SHARK AFTER DARK (get tickets here)

For those of you in the New York City area, you can see the show at Brooklyn Observatory on Thursday, August 9th at 8pm (details here)

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