Alexandre Aja to Direct Piranha

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Dimension Films has announced that Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) has signed on to write and direct a new Piranha movie, almost 30 years after the 1978 hit film of the same name. Mark Canton (300), Marc Toberoff from IPW, Alexandre Aja, and Gregory Levasseur will produce the film. Alix Taylor, J. Todd Harris from IPW, and Chako VanLeeuwen from Chako Film will serve as executive producers.

Toberoff, along with IPW head of production J. Todd Harris, assembled the rights, developed a draft screenplay and brought it to Canton and Atmosphere MM. Dimension Films attracted Aja to the project.

Aja’s cutting edge vision of this film is an entirely new take on the “Piranha” legacy and will certainly satisfy fans of the genre. Piranha takes place at Lake Havasu, Arizona, a small, scenic town whose population explodes during Spring break for fun in the sun and unpredictable desert freedom. This year there’s more to worry about than hangovers and complaints from the locals. Havasu sits in a crater and when earth tremors tear open a crack in the lake floor, all hell breaks loose as ravenous razor-toothed Piranhas surface and people start to disappearÂ…

Bob Weinstein stated, “It is really exciting to have the chance to work with Mark Canton, Marc Toberoff and Alex Aja, all of whom are extremely talented filmmakers. I am thrilled to be doing this stylized remake with fantastic new special effects and exciting set pieces. We will maintain the fun and thrilling aspects of the original film, but look forward to upping the ante with a modern-day twist.”

Alexandre Aja stated, “My goal is not to remake ‘Piranha’ but to create a completely new adventure paying homage to all the ‘creatures’ films that made me fall in love with the genre. It is the ultimate popcorn movie that pits beer soaked sunburned spring breakers against killer, bloodthirsty animals. I am very proud to follow the path of Joe Dante and James Cameron in the ‘Piranha’ franchise and look forward to working with Greg Levasseur, to write, produce and direct such a fun and gory thrill ride.”

In commenting on the announcement, Mark Canton said, “The original ‘Piranha’ was one of my favorite horror movies. Alexandre Aja’s contemporary, cutting edge vision for the new film, combined with the passionate commitment that Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Richard Saperstein and The Weinstein Company/Dimension Films team have for the project should result in a high-end brand movie that will scare audiences out of their seats. On a personal level, I’ve been looking forward to working with Harvey and Bob for a long time and am delighted that it’s come to fruition with this exciting, ground-breaking genre film.”

“I went after the remake rights to ‘Piranha’ because I knew it was a tremendous title that hadn’t achieved its full potential when originally made,” notes IPW’s Toberoff. “Death by piranha is one of the most viscerally frightening fates in all of nature. There’s a huge franchise to be re-launched here, and Alexandre Aja and Dimension are the perfect partners for it.”

Richard Saperstein, president of production for Dimension Films, Matthew Stein, senior vice president of production, and Steve Barnett, senior vice president of production and development, will oversee the project on behalf of Dimension Films.