When john d. hancock landed in rome in the summer of 1977, cowed and bruised by his experience in attempting to turn jaws 2 into a film apart from the steven spielberg original, he could hardly have known that one late-september evening, a decade later, sid sheinberg would pick up the telephone and announce his intention to revive the jaws franchise and make a “quality people picture, not a shark picture.“ hancock's denied vision for jaws 2, set on an amity island still in the throes of mourning, could have heralded a rewarding future for the jaws franchise. while jeannot szwarc's version of the sequel that eventually surfaced was perfectly serviceable and, often exciting, film, jaws 3d proved to be an abject failure; far too reliant on gimmickry - the 3d affix an attempt to crest the ultimately fruitless second wave of three-dimensional technology - and lacking the substance that made jaws more than the sum of its parts.
by 1987, universal - having suffered a plethora of box office disasters, none more so than with george lucas's howard the duck - were running out of ideas. sheinberg began to scrutinise the company's back catalogue for suitable properties to exploit until his eyes fell upon jaws. here sheinberg figured, with a colossal level of hubris, was a franchise he could make work.