Jaws (1975), the film that started the blockbuster craze in the mid 1970s — followed soon thereafter by Star Wars (1977) — is now the basis of a stage play in the U.K. Seriously! Not the film itself but the making of the film which stars Ian Shaw as his father Robert Shaw, according to this article.
Amazing, isn’t? Apparently, it’s doing quite well and as readers of Lee Marvin Point Blank are fully aware of, Lee Marvin (among others) was first asked to play the Shaw role of the crusty old sea salt, Quint. Director Steven Spielberg apparently also approached Sterling Hayden and got a similiar response from Hayden as he did Marvin. Just one example, by the way, of the appendix I put together of films Marvin turned down, and it is plentiful!
Marvin was an avid fisherman and turned down the role in hopes of making his own film about deep sea-fishing based on the book Tournament but could not raise the money for it. Publicly he joked that the reason he turned down Jaws was that after reading the script he didn’t want his fishing compadres to laugh at him based on Quint’s outcome. After the film came out and became a monster success, he stuck to his guns stating he felt the film was a small and simple tale of three men in a boat. He may have a point there.
The fact that the play is co-written and co-starring Robert Shaw’s son, Ian Shaw, and titled “The Shark is Broken” is rather ironic considering how Marvin felt about Robert Shaw and that had Marvin accepted the role, the play would never had come about.
When it comes to Marvin’s son (the real one, not the Jim Jarmusch Cabal), Christopher Marvin confided in me that had his father left him a bigger inheritance, he was planning on starting a therapeutic music school for disabled children. Would have been nice.
- Dwayne Epstein