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You Can't Escape Sharknado

Syfy’s social media hit is returning with a sequel this month. Will the network’s plan for B-movie domination work?
You Can't Escape Sharknado
Illustration by Steph Davidson; Photographs by Getty Images (3)

There aren’t any sharks on the New York City set of Sharknado 2. Of course there aren’t—movie monsters, especially those that swirl up in a tornado, are made on computers. The only fishy thing in sight on this cold February day is a lone shark tooth hanging off Ian Ziering’s necklace. “You know, ’cause of what happened in the last movie,” he says. Ziering, 50, who’s best known for playing the curly-haired jock Steve Sanders on the original Beverly Hills, 90210, is the hero of Syfy’s Sharknado franchise, the second of which premieres on July 30. In the first installment, which aired last July, Ziering’s character rid the world of a menacing tornado of sharks. But, as they say, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water …

In the scene that’s filming today, Ziering is supposed to be scavenging the streets of Manhattan for weapons before his final shark battle. So far, all he’s done is emerge from a restaurant with a bunch of knives and pizza slicers. He then meets his co-star, former Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath, who contributes a grocery bag full of Super Soakers. They compare weapons, look up at the sky, and frown. A stagehand leans over and explains they’re pretending to gaze at the sharks. “It’s so brilliant!” says the director, Anthony Ferrante, after the second take.