Mark Ramsey’s new “Inside Jaws” podcast, which tells the story of the first summer blockbuster and Steven Spielberg’s agonizing journey from struggling filmmaker to virtuoso, is already drawing interest as a possible TV adaptation, Ramsey told TheWrap.
We spoke to Ramsey for our new “Shoot This Now” podcast, where we talk about stories that should be made into TV shows and movies. You can listen on Apple or right here:
“Inside Jaws” is an immersive podcast from Wondery that re-creates not only Spielberg’s doubts and struggles as 1975’s “Jaws” far exceeded its schedule and budget, but also the calamitous shark attacks that inspired the film.
“Inside Jaws” even takes us to the deli where Peter Benchley, the author whose novel inspired the film, first got the encouragement to write the story — and name it “Jaws.”
Ramsey told us he wrote the seven-part series, which follows past podcasts “Inside Psycho” and “Inside the Exorcist,” as a television show without visuals. That should make it easily adaptable to TV.
“We’ve got people pursuing TV rights for this series right now,” Ramsey said, without naming names. “The rights are being shopped right now.”
He compared the project to FX’s Ryan Murphy series “Feud,” which used the making of “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane” as a backdrop to the story of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford’s rivalry. (Both make brief appearances in “Inside Jaws,” as do Matt Reeves, J.J. Abrams and Alfred Hitchcock, among others. Stunt casting opportunities abound.)
But “Inside Jaws” also works spectacularly as a podcast, because Ramsey and sound designer Jeff Schmidt are both ambitious and confident in their ability to tell a story with sound alone. Like “Jaws” the film, the podcast follows silences with disturbing bumps, crashes and screams to summon the terror of a real shark attack. They also create an audio montage that perfectly captures Spielberg’s frustration with his mechanical star, who often refused to work.
They’re trying to tell their story better than anyone has before — just as Spielberg did with “Jaws.” Ramsey said Spielberg is an inspiration to everyone who aspires to create.
“This is the maker’s story. All these anxieties are universal. All these challenges are universal. And if you’re lucky, something clicks,” Ramsey said.
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And you can learn more about “Inside Jaws” here.