1. An actor’s touch
Numerous actors were considered for some of the movie’s most iconic roles. Lee Marvin was the first choice for haggard fisherman Quint, ultimately played by Robert Shaw. Jon Voight, Timothy Bottoms, and Jeff Bridges were all asked to play Richard Dreyfuss’s Hooper. And Robert Duvall and Charlton Heston were both considered for Chief Brody before Roy Scheider took the part.
2. Writer on the beach
Peter Benchley, the author of the novel “Jaws,” makes a cameo in the film as a news reporter delivering a report on the beach. Benchley actually worked at the Washington Post before writing his famed novel.
3. A lucky break
Steven Spielberg was not the first director to be tied to the project. The original filmmaker, Dick Richards, was taken off the movie after repeatedly referring to the script’s shark as a whale during a production meeting.
4. ‘Jaws’ on land
Spielberg reportedly asked the movie’s producers, David Brown and Richard Zanuck, to watch his 1971 movie “Duel” when he was applying for the job because, according to the director, “‘Duel’ is basically ‘Jaws’ on land.” In fact, the sound that is heard as the shark descends to the ocean floor in “Jaws” is the same rumble heard as a truck flies off a cliff in “Duel.”
5. One big shark
Production designer Joe Alves is to thank for the creation of the film’s shark — which ultimately weighted 1.2 tons and measured 25 feet long. Alves would go on to work as a production designer on “Jaws 2” and the director of “Jaws 3-D.”