Dimension nets ‘Piranha’

Helmer Russell penning horror remake for spring start

Dimension Films has reeled in domestic distribution rights to “Piranha,” the remake of the 1978 genre hit that Chuck Russell will direct in spring.

Pic’s a co-production among IPW, Atmosphere MM/Relativity Media and Wild Bunch. Dimension will distribute in all English-speaking territories.

Weinstein Co. co-chairman Bob Weinstein, Atmosphere MM chair Mark Canton and IPW chairman Marc Toberoff made the deal.

Pic’s set at Arizona’s Lake Havasu, a vacation hotspot that turns into an all-you-can-eat buffet when a phalanx of fish swim through a crack in a crater formed by a prehistoric eruption at the bottom of the lake.

Russell wrote the script, using elements of drafts by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger, as well as the original John Sayles script that Joe Dante directed the first time around. That came from a story by Richard Robertson.

Canton and Toberoff will produce while Steve Barnett, J. Todd Harris, Vincent Maraval and Chako VanLeeuwen will exec produce.

Overseeing the project are Dimension production head Richard Saperstein and senior veep Matthew Stein, who brought in the property.

It has been in the works since last year, with Wild Bunch financing development. Relativity Media is handling the financing and distribution. Wild Bunch will distribute in some European territories and act as international sales agent.

Relativity’s Ryan Kavanaugh made the deal with Weinstein Co. exec Barry Littman.

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