Picture Machine and Galavis Films are developing Bret Easton Ellis screenplay “Bait,” a Spain-set thriller to be directed by Jonas Pate.

Story centers on a disturbed woman who holds a group of American students hostage in shark-infested waters.

Producers are Braxton Pope, Matt Perniciaro and Kevin Mann of Picture Machine and Galavis principal Jesus Martinez. Lions-gate has first look at domestic rights, and Mandate Intl. is handling foreign.

Producers are aiming to shoot the film in the spring at Ciudad de la Luz studios in Alicante, Spain, as well as on the open water.

Martinez, Mann and Perniciaro worked earlier this year as exec producers on thriller “The Cold Light of Day,” which is jointly financed by Summit and Intrepid. “Cold Light,” starring Henry Cavill and Bruce Willis and penned by Scott Wiper and John Petro, follows a young American whose family is kidnapped while on vacation to Spain.

Perniciaro and Mann also produced the Lebron James documentary “More Than a Game,” which Lionsgate distribbed.

Pate, who helmed “Deceiver” in 1997, has since been working mainly in television, directing and co-exec producing “Caprica” as well as helming episodes of “The Event” and “Friday Night Lights.”Easton novels “American Psycho,” “Less Than Zero” and “Rules of Attraction” plus his short-story collection “The Informers” have been adapted into features.

Pate also directed “Shrink,” which was produced by Pope and premiered at Sundance last year.

Pope produced sci-fier “Hirokin,” starring Wes Bentley, Angus Macfadyen, Julian Sands and Laura Ramsey, currently in post production. Other producing credits include “The Take,” “The Bondage” and “Penny Dreadful.”

Pope’s currently a partner in Ithaka Films, a film and TV production company with a first look deal with Lionsgate.