'Jaws' Star Roy Scheider Reluctantly Starred in 'Jaws 2' for 1 Reason

'Jaws' Star Roy Scheider Reluctantly Starred in 'Jaws 2' for 1 Reason

09/24/2021

In 1975, the horror movie Jaws was released, and it terrified an entire generation of kids. It was such a huge success that the studio couldn’t help but produce a sequel – and then another, and another. This month, the entire Jaws franchise came to Netflix, so subscribers can decide for themselves if the spinoffs were as good as the original. At least one of the original actors wasn’t impressed with the project, but he didn’t have the option of passing on it. 

‘Jaws’ swept the nation

According to IMDb, when it was released, Jaws was the first movie to ever gross $100 million in theater rentals, introducing the era of the summer blockbuster. It wasn’t just an enormous success with audiences and critics, it was also terrifying. 

The movie was about a shark with a relentless desire to kill, hunting people who were unwise enough to go into the water. Viewers found it so scary that it actually caused a dip in the sales of package vacation trips because people were so afraid to go to the beach. It was even voted the sixth scariest movie of all time by Entertainment Weekly. 

But then came the sequels. Director Steven Spielberg didn’t direct them, and he later regretted that decision. To this day, many agree that they didn’t live up to the original. 

Roy Scheider wanted out of the sequel

Scheider played the part of Martin Brody in the original movie. He managed to land the role almost by chance. He attended the same party as Spielberg, who was discouraged by his attempts to cast the role of Brody. He’d auditioned dozens of actors, but couldn’t find the right one. 

Hearing his frustration, Scheider offered to take the part himself, and the director agreed. And cinematic history was made. 

Doomrocket reports that Universal Studios decided to cash in on the huge success of Jaws with a sequel. Neither Spielberg nor Richard Dreyfuss chose to be a part of the new film. Scheider also wanted to give the project a pass, but he couldn’t because he had contract issues with the studio. He had no choice but to reprise his role as Brody.

He was paid four times as much as before, but he never seemed to warm up to the movie. He and the new director, Jeannot Szwarc, had constant conflict on the set. 

The fate of ‘Jaws 2’

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the sequel wasn’t nearly as good as the original. It was simply an imitation of the first movie, and the two subsequent spinoffs were considered even worse. The studio kept trying to recreate the magic of the first film, but it never worked.

By the fourth installment, Jaws: The Revenge, the shark even made a vicious roaring noise as it emerged from the water, although how this was possible was never explained. Yet despite their best efforts, they were never able to recapture the complexity and taut suspense of the first movie. Jaws 2 and the other sequels did well in sales, but they were panned by critics. 

As IMDb reports, after his forced appearance in Jaws 2, Scheider went on to act in other movies, including an Oscar-nominated lead role in All That Jazz in 1979. The last movie he appeared in was Red Serpent in 2003.

Scheider died in 2008, leaving behind a long list of impressive movies to remember him by – and one dud that he just couldn’t escape. 

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