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Steven Spielberg admits he’s afraid sharks may be ‘mad at him’ after success of Jaws

Steven Spielberg admits he’s afraid sharks may be ‘mad at him’ after success of Jaws

Sharks around the world need to hear this...

Steven Spielberg has seemingly offered an olive branch to sharks amid fears they may be ‘mad at him’ because of their portrayal in his iconic film Jaws.

To promote his latest epic, the autobiographical drama The Fabelmans, Spielberg, 76, sat down with Lauren Laverne on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs where he discussed his career.

During the chat he mentioned that the success of his 1975 thriller led to a huge rise in sports fishing across the US and the hunting down of sharks.

In some countries, sharks are caught by humans for shark meat or for shark fin soup.

Many shark populations are threatened by human activities and since 1970 their populations have been reduced by 71 percent, mostly due to overfishing, The New York Times reports.

Steven Spielberg said he's afraid sharks might be 'mad at him'.
Sydney Alford / Alamy Stock Photo.

When asked by Laverne how it felt to be stuck on an island surrounded by sharks, the iconic director admitted: “That’s one of the things I still fear.”

He clarified: “Not to get eaten by a shark, but that sharks are somehow mad at me for the feeding frenzy of crazy sports fishermen that happened after 1975.”

The three-time Oscar-winning director added: “I truly and to this day regret the decimation of the shark population because of the book and the film.

"I really, truly regret that.”

We’re not sure if the sharks will buy that apology, to be honest.

Spielberg mounting a fake shark on the set of Jaws.
ScreenProd / Photononstop / Alamy Stock Photo.

Jaws is considered a massive turning point in film history because of Spielberg’s direction and use of special effects. The summer blockbuster was the highest-grossing film of all time until the release of Star Wars two years later, having grossed $476.5 million at the box office.

The film's villain is a ferocious man-eating great white shark that attacks beachgoers at a summer resort town.

In 2001, the Library of Congress selected Spielberg’s terrifying shark flick for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, which probably made the shark community even angrier.

Jaws won three Academy Awards for Best Film Editing, Best Original Dramatic Score and Best Sound. To the chagrin of sharks everywhere, it was also nominated for Best Picture but it lost to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

I guess that’s one win for the sharks.

Jaws was a huge blockbuster in 1975.
Zanuck/Brown Company/Universal Pictures

Jaws was based on a novel published the year before the film’s release written by Peter Benchley.

The author, who died in 2006, also expressed regret after portraying the sea’s most infamous predators as the villains in his story.

“I do know one thing, however: if I were to try to write Jaws today, I couldn't do it,” Benchley said for the Smithsonian’s Ocean Planet exhibition which ran between April 1995 to April 1996.

“Or, at least, the book I would write would be vastly different and, I surmise, much less successful. I see the sea today from a new perspective, not as an antagonist but as an ally, rife less with menace than with mystery and wonder.”

Featured Image Credit: UPI / Alamy / Universal Pictures

Topics: Celebrity, TV and Film, Animals