The publisher Doubleday commissioned him to write the novel, which was read before its publication by film producers Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown. They both loved the story and bought their film rights, which helped make the novel's sales a success after it was published in February 1974 and remained on the best-seller list for 44 weeks.
His adaptation to the cinema was directed by Steven Spielberg and premiered in June 1975. The film omitted some of the subplots present in the novel and focused its attention on the killer shark. The film obtained a critical success and a resounding public, since it was the highest grossing film in history up to that moment, and it is considered that it marked a before and after in the history of cinema as a prototype of the summer cinematographic super-successes.