The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures first announced that it had acquired the prop in 2016

By Maria Pasquini
June 21, 2019 10:06 PM
Courtesy Everett Collection

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has restored the last surviving model of the iconic shark that terrified beachgoers in the 1975 blockbuster Jaws.

On Thursday, the museum, which has not yet opened, shared that the original shark prop, nicknamed “Bruce,” had been “fully transformed.”

“Just in time for the 44th anniversary of #Jaws (1975) … An update on Bruce the shark’s restoration! Special effects legend @G_Nicotero, his studio KNB EFX, and the #AcademyMuseum conservation team have fully transformed this undersea giant,” the museum wrote on Twitter, alongside several photos highlighting all the work that has been done to the prop.

However, the shark is seemingly still awaiting some final touches, as the latest photos show that it’s missing teeth and eyes.

Although it remains unclear when fans will get a chance to see the original prop up in the flesh the museum has shared that people will be able to take photos with Bruce.

“If we learned anything from Jaws it’s that you probably don’t want your body parts anywhere near Bruce’s mouth. But people will definitely be able to take pictures with Bruce. And by people we mean Museum visitors,” the museum wrote in response to an inquiring fan.

The Academy Museum first announced that it had acquired the shark, which is the fourth and final version of the prop made from its original mold, in 2016.

Although the model had been on display at Universal Studios Hollywood for years since the release of the film, in 1990 it was acquired by a local junkyard, where the shark remained until the time of its donation.

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“Jaws was the original summer blockbuster — a movie that marked a turning point in culture and society — and Bruce is the only surviving version of its unforgettable central prop,” museum director Kerry Brougher said in a press release at the time, calling it an “extraordinary addition to our collection.”

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However, it remains unclear when the museum will open.

On Thursday, it was revealed that although the Academy Museum, which was originally slated to open in 2017, will not be open to the public this year — or before the upcoming Academy Awards, which will take place on Feb. 9 next year.

“As we continue working through the permitting process and move closer to completion, we are weighing the overall schedule for major industry events in 2020, and on this basis will choose the optimal moment for our official opening,” a museum spokesperson said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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