“Jaws” actor Jonathan Searle was voted in as police chief of the Martha’s Vineyard town where the iconic movie was filmed.
The veteran police officer has been with the Edgartown Police Department since 1986, and will take over as the police chief of neighboring Oak Bluffs, which stood in for the film’s fictional Amity Island, in June after his promotion was confirmed with a 3-1 vote on May 16.
Searle, who was born and raised in Martha’s Vineyard, was a child actor when he was featured in Stephen Spielberg’s shark attack thriller. He and his brother played the two children who scared beach goers out of the water with a cardboard shark fin, just before Jaws attacks. Ironically, the former performer arrested a man who lied about shark sightings in 2008.
“I’m clearly elated and I’m humbled and honored to have been offered the position,” he told the Vineyard Gazette last week. “It’s something I’ve been working toward my whole career.” He’s also following in the footsteps of his father, George Searle, who was the Edgartown police chief from 1981-1995.
The 1975 creature feature scared global audiences into spending $470 million, after being made on a less than $9 million budget. Despite topping the box office, there is no reboot in the works, after the movie’s three sequels flopped.
“I would never remake one of my own movies — starting with Jaws,” Spielberg once told Deadline. “But there are Amblin titles in the library that could inspire new stories that were made popular by the films. There isn’t a single title that I’ve earmarked, but yes, I would like to. I will be discussing that with Jeff (Skoll) and Ronnie (Meyer) and Donna (Langley). I would never remake Jaws.”
Spielberg might not be interested in bringing “Jaws” back to the big screen, but a new musical inspired by the film will hit the stage soon.
Broadway’s “Bruce,” the name of the movie’s titular mechanical shark, will focus on the director himself as he sets to adapt the best-selling novel into his smash hit film in 1974. Tony nominee Jarrod Spector will star as the “Jurassic Park” director.