Shark Week Hits Theaters With ‘Return to the Isle of Jaws’ — and a Major Discovery

Mandi Bierly
Deputy Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

If you’ve ever watched Shark Week (premiering July 23 this year on Discovery) and thought, “We’re gonna need a bigger screen,” you’re in luck.

For the first time, the network is teaming with Fathom Events for a one-night only sneak peek of a new special in select movie theaters nationwide. On July 18, six days before its TV premiere, you can see Return to the Isle of Jaws, the follow-up to the 2016 special that followed renown cameraman/shark expert Andy Casagrande as he explored a newly discovered great white hot spot just south of Western Australia — and saw males only.

He initially hoped to return to the area and find the females, but scheduling put him back in those waters at the same time of year, and once again, it was a boys club. As you see in our exclusive clip above, Casagrande spent a lot of time outside the cage on the ocean floor so he could take clear photographs of the sharks to identify them. But he and a team of divers and scientists team wound up doing more than counting up to 22 different great whites; they made a discovery that caused them to re-think everything they knew about the species.

“I kept encountering these two males, and I swear, as soon as I saw them they looked almost like identical twins. Their behavior was very similar and they were like brothers. They would never leave each other’s side. I kept watching them and they were almost inseparable, which is very rare with great whites and most sharks. Because [experts] don’t believe there is any maternal or paternal instinct — they are born and they have to fend for themselves and they just go off in the big blue sea and have to survive,” Casagrande tells Yahoo TV. “But these guys literally seemed as if they were related. They were hanging out with each other, and they would cooperatively come in really close and then they would split — one would go around to the left, one would go around to the right — and then come back up over the ledge.”

At first, it was just a really interesting observation. But then they started looking at the footage. “We could tell that they have really similar pigmentation patterns on their fins, and it was the consensus among myself and the scientists that we thought these guys almost have to be related. They are just acting too similar, spending way too much time with each other. So we nicknamed them ‘The Brothers.’ They’re pretty cool,” Casagrande says. “If we’re correct, it’s a breakthrough that white sharks develop relationships among family members — or at least these guys did. And no one’s ever even considered that.”

Casagrande, a longtime Shark Week fan favorite, is understandably psyched that one of his shows is part of the inaugural “Shark Week at the Movies” — a double feature that also includes 2016’s Return of Monster Mako, in which professional shark tagger Keith Poe and marine biologists Greg Stuntz and Matt Ajemain use state-of-the-art technology to try and document a live-predation of a thousand-pound Mako shark. “Me and 20 of my family are going to go, and it feels like we’re going to see Jaws almost,” he says.

Yes, people will be on the edge of their seat, and YES, they will likely talk back to the screen as Casagrande ventures outside the cage. “Most people think, and in some respects it’s true, that great whites are the most dangerous shark on Earth and they’ll eat you if you try to swim with them, or you really should be caged when you are interacting with great whites. But I guess because I’ve been doing it for over 15 years — I’ve dived with great whites in Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico, Cape Cod, all of these cool hot spots — you learn more about their behavior. And some sharks, you can actually get out and swim with, like these two brothers,” he says.

“But at the same time, there are a few moments where a few of the sharks catch me off-guard. They sort of sneak up behind me and they’re biting at the cage right close to my head. I can never fool myself 100% that I’m entirely safe, because it’s definitely not entirely safe. But it was exciting. I think taking the risk for the benefit of science and to capture cool cinema was worth it. You think it’s going to be one of the best Shark Week shows [to show in theaters] because it shows humans and great whites interacting. We’ve got an amazing expedition. We got my buddy Paul de Gelder [an Aussie ex-special forces diver who lost part of an arm and a leg to a bull shark during a counterterrorism exercise in Sydney Harbor in 2009] out there with me. I got to introduce him to great whites for the first time ever on [2014’s] Great White Matrix. I got to take him outside the cage for the first time ever with great whites. So for some reason people trust me to do really crazy stuff and come back alive, and I guess I’ve been pulling it off.”

Tickets for “Shark Week at the Movies,” which includes the premiere of 2017’s Return to the Isle of Jaws and a replay of 2016’s Return of Monster Mako, can now be purchased online by visiting or at participating theater box offices. Return to the Isle of Jaws has its network premiere July 24 at 9 p.m. on Discovery, on Night 2 of Shark Week.

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