Alejandre Aja To Remake Piranha

Are you ready for a fishy tale?

by Willow Green |
Published on

It’s not often that Empire greets news of another horror remake with something akin to enthusiasm, but the revelation that French director Alejandre Aja has agreed to call the shots on a new version of Piranha has had that very effect.

The 1978 original was the first film to put director Joe Dante’s unique blend of horror and comedy – that would be perfected in The Howling and Gremlins – onto the big screen, but with its limited special effects, it is probably ripe for a remake, so step forward Aja, a man who managed to bring a fresh take to his redo of Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes while, at the same time, sometimes remaking it shot for shot.

So he’s got form in this area, and if you saw his Hills and his French calling card, Switchblade Romance, he’s not averse to throwing a bucket of blood, or twenty, onto his actors. So the new Piranha should be a gory treat.

As the title would suggest, Piranha is a sea monster movie with a difference – we’re not talking a rogue shark with a grudge, or a pissed-off giant squid. Instead, our antagonists will be a school of razor-toothed piranha fish, those nasty little South American bleeders who feed in packs, and who can strip a cow of all its flesh and muscle in just a matter of seconds.

In Aja’s movie, though, a summer camp in Arizona is about to receive some very unwelcome visitors when a strong earthquake opens a gaping underwater maw, filled with… you guessed it.

The remake will be produced by Bob Weinstein’s Dimension Films, with Mark Canton, Marc Toberoff and Gregory Levasseur on producing duties. Aja, who claims that the movie will allow him to pay homage to “all the creature movies that made me fall in love with the genre”, will rewrite the script, which is currently credited to Josh Stolberg and the brilliantly-named Pete Goldfinger, the screenwriter with the Midas touch.

So, there you have it. We’ll forgo our usual rant at this juncture – you know the one, something along the lines of what a travesty it is that the director of the original, Joe Dante, can’t get a movie made for love nor money – to reaffirm our belief that this could be a barrel-load of fun. Great monster movies are few and far between these days, with South Korean blinder The Host the only one we can think of that has stepped up to the plate in recent years – maybe Aja’s Piranha can do the same. And hey, if it’s a success, can a remake of Jim Cameron’s Piranha II: Flying Killers be that far behind?

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