Steven Spielberg’s 1975 thriller Jaws is widely considered to be one of the greatest movies ever made. It received three Academy Awards and went on to earn $470.7 million ($2,145,000,000 when adjusted for inflation), which made it the highest grossing movie of all time at one point. But, according to Jaws star Richard Dreyfuss, the film would make even more money now if re-released with proper visual effects.
According to Dreyfuss, a visual update would benefit the movie in a big way, especially if that means replacing the mechanical shark with a CGI one.
“I think they should do it, it would be huge, and it would open up the film to younger people,” the 70-year-old actor told Deadline. “Is that blasphemy? No, no, I don’t think so. The technology now could make the shark look as good as the rest of the movie.”
Using mechanical shark was a big problem for the crew and Steven Spielberg during the filming of Jaws, since it frequently broke down and caused delays in shooting. Instead of 55 days, the movie ended up being shoot 159 days while the projected $7 million budget doubled.
In order to get the best result, Spielberg turned to various tricks which would allow him to hint at the shark’s presence without having to show it on camera. Despite his efforts, however, the mechanical shark was largely unconvincing during the time it was shown, and is viewed as Jaws‘ biggest flaw.
While audiences in 1970s were able to get over this, modern audiences are not so forgiving and don’t share the same appreciation for the movie.
“There are people who say Jaws is a perfect film otherwise and it is amazing what Steven accomplished with the challenges he had,” Dreyfuss added. “But you’re dead-right, I think you’re on to something. They should put the money in to CGI [to replace] that beast and make it come alive.”