“You’re gonna need a bigger boat”: Inside Joke on Steven Spielberg’s Dangerous ‘Jaws’ Set Led To One of the Film’s Most Iconic Improvised Lines

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat”: Inside Joke on Steven Spielberg’s Dangerous ‘Jaws’ Set Led To One of the Film’s Most Iconic Improvised Lines

Steven Spielberg is among the most respected directors in the entertainment industry. He has directed some of the most iconic films including Harrison Ford’s legendary Indiana Jones series, Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park, West Side Story, Saving Private Ryan, and many others. The director is known for excellent cinematography and unique storytelling methods. One of his most iconic films includes Jaws, which was the first major motion picture to be shot on the ocean.

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg

The film was a huge commercial and critical success, with an ever-increasing fan following. Several dialogues in the film became popular among the masses, and one of the lines was part of an inside joke.

Also read- Steven Spielberg Buried a Crew Member Alive Once While Filming ‘Jaws’ To Get a More Realistic Gory Shot of Dead Victim

Carl Gottlieb on his collaboration with Steven Spielberg for Jaws

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Jaws script writer talked about his collaboration with Spielberg for the shark film. He recalled the director was anxious about the rewrite of the script,

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“[Spielberg] was anxious to do a rewrite before they started shooting — they were about two or three weeks before principal photography. I was sent the script with a memo saying, ‘Eviscerate this.’”

A still from Jaws
A still from Jaws

After going through Gottlieb’s extensive notes, Steven Spielberg asked him to join Jaws production and assist him in redrafting the troubled script adaptation of Peter Benchley’s book. Gottlieb shared,

“We shared a house together and spent every waking moment together for the next four months because I was either rewriting or acting in the movie.”

The 77-year-old writer played a small role of Ben Meadows, the town’s newspaper editor, in the film.

Also read- “I began to laugh”: Steven Spielberg Thought John Williams Pranked Him After First Hearing the Iconic Jaws Theme Only To Admit His Mistake Later

Carl Gottlieb reveals the origin of the famous dialogue in Steven Spielberg’s film

It was during the rewrite sessions, when the famous dialogue “You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” landed in the film. It became massively popular and was registered as No. 3 on Hollywood’s Top 100 Movie Quotes.

The screenwriter recalled,

“It was an overlap of a real-life problem combined with the dilemma of the characters onscreen.”

The real-life problem was a barge that carried all the lights, camera equipment, and craft services. It was steadied by a small support boat that was too small for usage.

Gottlieb shared,

“[Richard] Zanuck and [David] Brown were very stingy producers, so everyone kept telling them, ‘You’re gonna need a bigger boat.’ It became a catchphrase for anytime anything went wrong — if lunch was late or the swells were rocking the camera, someone would say, ‘You’re gonna need a bigger boat.’”

A still from the movie Jaws

Roy Scheider, who played Brody in the movie, ad-libbed the line at different scenes during the shoot. However, the scene that made it to the final cut was after the suspenseful first look at the massive white shark scene.

Gottlieb said,

“It was so appropriate and so real and it came at the right moment, thanks to Verna Field’s editing.”

The screenwriter-actor shared that the dialogue became immensely popular among the audiences.

Jaws was released in 1975 and grossed $476.5 million worldwide. It is available for streaming on Netflix.

Also read- Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jaws’ Star Tried to Feign Insanity to Refuse $208M Sequel After Director Turned Down Studio Due to His Own Traumatic Experience

Source- The Hollywood Reporter

Written by Arushi Srivastava

Arushi is a keen follower of Hollywood movies and TV shows. She has an experience of 5+ years in content writing and loves to write on everything around Hollywood and fan fiction. An ardent Hollywood buff, Arushi loves to tell stories through her writing and has contributed to several posts. You will find her following celebrities and enjoying classics in her free time.