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Aja bites into ‘Piranha’

Director to remake horror parody

Dimension Films has hired French filmmaker Alexandre Aja to direct a remake of “Piranha,” Joe Dante’s 1978 dark parody of Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” that was followed by a sequel from James Cameron.

Atmosphere’s Mark Canton (“300”), IPW’s Marc Toberoff and Gregory Levasseur are producing the stylized horror-comedy. Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg penned the script, with Aja planning a rewrite.

Aja, part of a group of up-and-coming horror filmmakers known as the Splat Packers, has a distinct vision in updating “Piranha,” saying he wants to pay homage to all the “creature films that made me fall in love with the genre.”

Updated story takes place at Lake Havasu, Ariz., a favorite destination for partying spring breakers. When a tremor causes the ground to open up beneath the lake, chaos and terror break out as ravenous piranhas are released.

“We will maintain the fun and thrilling aspects of the original film but look forward to upping the ante with a modern-day twist,” Dimension’s Bob Weinstein said.

Toberoff, along with IPW head of production J. Todd Harris, secured the necessary rights and took the project to Atmosphere. Exec producers are Harris, Alix Taylor and Chako Film’s Chako van Leeuwen.

Aja was last in theaters with horror-thriller “The Hills Have Eyes” and is in pre-production with New Regency’s “Mirrors.”

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