Li Bingbing’s Suyin Zhang is one of the notable absentees in Jonas Taylor’s group in Ben Wheatley’s science-fiction shark movie ‘Meg 2: The Trench.’ In ‘The Meg,’ Suyin and her father Zhang explore the depths of the Mariana Trench, only to encounter a megalodon shark. Suyin and Jonas eventually team up together to face the monstrous sea creature and their bond leads them to their marriage. Jonas becomes the stepfather of Suyin’s daughter Meiying, who accompanies the former in the 2023 sequel. But what really happened to Meiying’s mother? Why doesn’t Bingbing feature in the second movie of the franchise? SPOILERS AHEAD.
Suyin’s Ambiguous Death
‘Meg 2: The Trench’ reveals that Suyin Zhang died in 2021, after the events depicted in ‘The Meg.’ The sequel begins five years after Jonas kills a megalodon shark with a damaged submersible. The oceanographer passed away a few years after the incident, as revealed by her brother Jiuming Zhang at the event conducted on the 10th anniversary of the Oceanic Institute. He reveals that he decided to merge his vision for the institute’s future and his father’s research after the deaths of the latter and his sister. He also adds that his efforts to learn more about the ocean are his way of honoring the lives of both Suyin and Zhang.
During the event, Jiuming says that Suyin spent all her life studying the oceans and his work at the helm of the Oceanic Institute will pay homage to her contributions to humankind’s knowledge concerning the water body. Although Suyin’s cause of death is not revealed in the film, considering her commitment to her work and courageous nature, it is possible that she died in the line of duty. She must have gotten into an accident during one of her marine research initiatives. Since ‘The Meg’ makes it clear that Suyin is not afraid of putting her life on the line to do her job, she most likely risked it for the sake of a professional assignment, which resulted in her death.
If that’s the case, it also explains why Jiuming suddenly wanted to helm the research works of the Oceanic Institute. Suyin’s sacrifice while learning more about life in oceans must have motivated him to complete what his sister began before passing away. Jonas’ efforts to distance his stepdaughter Meiying from the depths of the ocean also add weight to this possibility. After losing Suyin to the ocean, he may not have wanted the water body to steal Meiying away from him too.
Li Bingbing’s Mysterious Exit
As of now, neither Li Bingbing nor Warner Bros. Pictures has released a statement explaining why the actress exited from ‘The Meg’ franchise. As per reports, the actress was attached to the cast of the sequel initially, only for her to officially depart from the franchise in February 2022. Even though performers often exit from projects due to scheduling conflicts, it might not be the reason in Bingbing’s case. Since the release of the 2018 film, the actress has been a part of only one film, Tony Chan’s 2022 Chinese drama ‘Ordinary Hero,’ whose production was reportedly concluded in October 2021, way before the filming of the sequel began in January 2022.
Considering that Bingbing hasn’t been a part of many projects since ‘The Meg,’ the actress could be taking a break from acting, possibly to focus on her environmental work. The actress is the founder of the L.O.V.E Green movement, which is committed to propagating “an environmentally friendly, low-carbon lifestyle.” As someone who tries to “practice what she preaches and promote the need to lead a responsible life,” as per her United Nations Environment Programme profile, Bingbing might have even decided against continuing to play a character who hunts down sharks and other creatures.
If that’s not the case, Bingbing can be taking a break from acting to focus on her personal life. Regardless of the reason behind her exit from the shark movie series, it is unlikely that we will get to see her again in the potential ‘Meg’ films because of her character Suyin’s death.