Original ‘Jaws’ Model Discovered

— by CAM SMITH —

As we’re fast closing in on the 35th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s classic thriller “Jaws,” now seems like an especially ideal time to pass on a pleasant story relating to its unforgettably iconic gilled star. After all, what’s summer-time without a gargantuan water-dwelling, vacationer-chomping killer fish in the news?

In a recent piece posted up at Yahoo! Movies, writer Liana Maeby revealed that, after spending decades seemingly lost in the ever-shifting sands of cackling Father Time’s hour-glass, Bruce, the mechanical predator used to great effect in the 1975 smash, has been rediscovered. As the story goes, apparently it was long thought that only three original casts were created for the notoriously troubled production (I strongly recommend reading “The Jaws Log” to find out more!), all of which were, according to Spielberg himself, long ago destroyed.

However, through considerable pluck, intrepid reporter and “Jaws” enthusiast Corey Turner uncovered rumors of a fourth shark; one which had spent some 15 years dangling by its tail in Universal Studios Theme Park before being junked in 1990. Certainly all can likely agree that that’s no way to treat a legend, so it’s satisfying to hear that, through efforts that no doubt border on the Herculean, Turner ultimately managed to track down said shark in a Southern Californian junkyard.

Of course, just to be sure he had the desired mechanical wonder (and perhaps not the lame roaring one from “Jaws The Revenge”), original craftsmen Joe Alves and Roy Arbogast were summoned to authenticate the long-orphaned Robert Shaw-digesting machine.

Their judgment, courtesy of Arbogast, was thus:

    “It’s the real one. It’s just kinda’ nice to see it again after 25 or 30 years. It’s amazing that it’s still here.”

Almost brings a tear to my cynical eye, this does, and its worth clicking on over to Yahoo!’s site to read all the nitty gritty details for yourself. Feel free to ignore the author’s closing comment regarding Universal’s plans for a 3D “Jaws” remake starring Tracy Morgan, though, as that’s just a ridiculous runaway rumor that originally emanated from an unsubstantiated, unspecified source quoted months ago by Cinema Blend who, to their credit, more or less admitted that there was little merit to the gossip.

At any rate, all remake chatter aside, I’m thrilled to know that one of the vintage Bruce’s will be able to be restored and preserved for future generations to hopefully one day be able to witness in-the-plaster. Has anyone called the Smithsonian yet?

As an opportunistic added footnote, keep any eye out in the coming weeks here on IJM for some special “Jaws”-related content and surprises. It should be fun …

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3 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. 1

    that is a very cool find. hopefully they will use the shark for any promotional stuff coming this yr for its anni and all that.

  2. mg #

    How does the owner of the junkyard NOT know it’s the f—ing Jaws shark? Even if I thought it might have been,I would have had this bad boy hanging in my room or something. Oh how cool it must be to pick up the garbage around Hollywood film studios.

  3. 3

    It’s hard to believe someone threw these away. There aren’t too many movie props that would be cooler to own.

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