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Blake Lively vs. a Shark: Who Ya Got?

Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures

Jaume Collet-Serra is back with a new one. And after making masterpieces (fight me) in both the streets and the skies, this summer the director has finally decided to head for the water. In The Shallows, Collet-Serra trades in Liam “No-Bikini Clause” Neeson for Blake Lively, who might be a bad kissing actor but is also — when not miscast as “having been to Boston even one time” — a genius and a star.

Judging from Wednesday’s trailer, though, the film’s true breakout star is set to be its villain — played by F̶r̶a̶n̶k̶ ̶L̶a̶n̶g̶e̶l̶l̶a S̶c̶o̶o̶t̶ ̶M̶c̶N̶a̶i̶r̶y E̶d̶ ̶H̶a̶r̶r̶i̶s̶ 

And not to put too fine a point on it, but: How hard was that? Honestly. For how many years have people just been standing around, doing nothing, not making movies about Blake Lively fighting a shark? How many of our loved ones have had to die, actually die, not knowing if Blake Lively could kill an apex predator or vice versa? Fortunately for everyone, that nightmare is over — and The Shallows is here to save the summer.

If you’re searching for “this year’s Fury Road,” you won’t find it in the usual places. There’s no George Miller on the calendar this season, and the action menu is “Daniel Radcliffe in a coke blazer” grim. But if you’re looking for a sleeper pick, well, real heads know: Jaume Collet-Serra is ready to make the jump from Neeson money to Van der Woodsen money. And if you’re wondering how he’ll get there, you could probably do worse than THE MOVIE WHERE BLAKE LIVELY FIGHTS A FUCKING SHARK.

This piece originally appeared in the May 6, 2016, edition of the Ringer newsletter.