Action hero Jason Statham has reportedly started shooting a film about a giant prehistoric shark attack in Auckland.

Filming of Meg, a sci-fi film based on Steve Alten's 1997 novel Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror, is understood to be underway in the Auckland suburb of Glen Eden, home to production studio Studio West.

Meg is due for a 2018 release and is directed by Jon Turtletaub. Chinese actress Fan Bingbing co-stars alongside Statham and the film will be shot in New Zealand and China, Variety reported.

A Mai FM caller today said they'd spotted Statham - a star in many action franchises including Fast & Furious, Transporter and The Expendables - at Auckland International Airport with his wife, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.


Warner Bros representatives didn't respond to requests for comment. Studio West said there was no comment to make when contacted by the Herald.

Studio West's website says it is "one of New Zealand's largest movie studio and television production facilities," and has experience "working with many of the leading TV and movie studio production companies both domestically and internationally".

Variety reported Statham would play "a former Naval captain and expert deep-sea diver ... recruited for a likely suicide mission" against a giant prehistoric shark that's been attacking a international underwater observation program.

Statham has links to New Zealand, having previously competed here in the 1990 Commonwealth Games as a diver.

Sharks have returned to screens recently with a spate of titles themed around the dangers of the deep.

Blake Lively's The Shallows debuts here next Thursday, while four instalments of the made-for-TV movie series Sharknado have been made.