From the February 25, 1977 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

Jaws is back!

Or at least Shari Rhodes, the casting director, has been on the Island casting for Jaws II. She arrived Monday to stay with Mrs. Daniel Hull in West Tisbury.

Miss Rhodes spent her first day lining up many of the former bit players from the first movie.

“Will you do it again?” she asked Mrs. Henry Scott of Chilmark who played the part of Chief Brody’s secretary.

“Of course I will!” came the enthusiastic reply, “but I may have to join the Screen Actor’s Guild this time.”

“Don’t worry about it,” replied Shari. “Universal will take care of that, but will you be able to go to Florida?”

“Yes, yes, yes,” was the still enthusiastic return.

And so it went, as adults and children were approached.

Since most of this movie is to be made in Pensacola, Fla., there does arise the question of who can leave the Island during the busiest season. For instance, Dr. Robert W. Nevin is wanted back as the doctor he played so well the first go-round, but will he be able to junket to Florida on Universal’s whim and for indefinite stays which would take him from his duties on-Island? And can we spare Robert J. Carroll and Cyprien P.R. Dube?

This trip Shari’s main duty was to cast a number of boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 19 who can swim and are able to go to Florida. She had expected to invade the Island schools but found to her horror that the schools were closed this past week. Mrs. Hull untangled the situation by getting in touch with the Island’s youth centers so that in no short order Shari Rhodes was back at her old stamping ground, the Kelly House, hard at work.

Again Mrs. Hull was handing out forms, entertaining those waiting and making order out of chaos. This time there was no fighting the Polaroid camera, thanks to the simple expedient of asking role-seekers to bring their own pictures.

Shari was thrilled to be back on the Island, getting the feel of it and seeing her friends.

Tom Joyner will also be back with Jaws II, again as assistant director, and so will Joe Alves, the art director, who is now the assistant producer as well. Richard Dreyfuss, “the man from Woods Hole,” and Robert Shaw have other and better things to do, but Murray Hamilton, who played the mayor and tangled with a skunk, will be back in the same role, so it is hoped he will try not to pet any black kittens with white stripes.

Lorraine Gary will again be Chief Brody’s wife, Roy Scheider will of course be Brody, and Jonathan Filley will undoubtedly be lurking in the periphery, but unfortunately his role is over. There will be a nice little redhead (as yet uncast) who sails her own boat, and of course those magnificent sharks will not be back since they will go directly to Florida.

Those connected with Jaws II are ecstatic over the new plot. They say it is ever so much better than the first Jaws, although it continues along the same lines and takes place three years later which is exactly how long it has been since the first Jaws was made, so that people and the town will have aged correctly together.

In the script the town of Amity Island is just getting back on its feet after the shark scare of three years before. Condominiums are being built but police Chief Brody is convinced that somehow the shark he killed (Bruce) was able to get a message out to a second shark who will avenge the first. Once again Brody battles town fathers, trying to close the beaches, since he’s easily convinced “something’s” out there. So, the group of selectmen will be back in the town hall. Of course they won’t be the same people — three years have passed — and there will be a female selectman (woman’s rights have arrived). She will be played by Mrs. Taylor who battled in the previous production.

This time there is a real shooting schedule, so it will not be like Jaws I when Universal was afraid there would be a Screen Actor’s Guild strike and got into production before anything was jelled. Shooting will begin May 6 in Pensacola, after which a second unit will start shooting on Martha’s Vineyard for 22 days ending on the first of July (neatly avoiding the Fourth) so that the studio will not tangle with high rents and tourists for a second time. Filming will then go on undisturbed by high rents and tourists in Pensacola until the end of October.

One thing that’s extra-special-nice about the return of Jaws is that Islanders have made a lot of friends, and they will find out just how many as all those connected with the studio start filtering back to the Island. Proof of this is the happy, happy morning Shari Rhodes, Janice Hull, Jini Poole (who also helped with the casting of Jaws I) and the Girl Photographer (who is always lurking) spent talking — their recollections, smiles, expectations of future excitement had the warmth of lasting friendship.

Compiled by Hilary Wall