This summer's B-movie fest Piranha 3D may not have broken any box office records, but it made a big enough splash (get it?) for Dimension Films to move ahead with a sequel.
Last month we reported on the studio giving the green light to a Piranha 3D sequel, an unsurprising move not just because of the fact that it made a decent amount of money ($64 million on a $24 million budget) but also because it gained very positive critical praise. When a remake of Piranha was announced I don't think anyone expected it to be any good, but the knowing, tongue-in-cheek nature of the 3D remake made it a success for what it was trying to be.
Those looking forward for more three-dimensional piranha chomping can start to get excited sooner than they might have thought because Deadline is reporting that Dimension is aiming to get the Piranha 3D sequel in theaters by the end of August 2011 to be exact (our own Sandy Schaefer predicted they'd fast track the sequel when it was greenlit). That's only ten months away and a script hasn't even been written yet...
Speaking of the script, instead of bringing back writers of the first film, Peter Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg, Dimension has reportedly hired Saw franchise writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan to write the screenplay for the horror-comedy sequel. On top of that the sequel has been given a very bold title: Pirahna 3 DD. It appears those behind the new breed of Piranha aren't afraid of extending their jokey touch to the title itself! :-P
Along with replacing the original writers, the studio has also replaced director Alexandra Aja with John Gulager. In hiring Gulager, Melton and Dunstan, the studio has reassembled the team behind the 2005 horror film Feast, which was chronicled in season 3 of the TV series Project Greenlight.
As for cast members, I assume those characters who made it out of the first Piranha 3D alive will make a return (Elizabeth Shue is a shoe-in, right? :-P ). Deadline's report also notes that there will likely be more extended cameos from acting thespians to follow those by Richard Dreyfuss and Christopher Lloyd in the first film. Who would you like to see pop up in the sequel?
An end-of-summer 2011 release date does seem a bit ambitious, but let's not forget that this isn't exactly Oscar material we're dealing with here. The story and dialogue isn't at the top of the priority list, but rather how over-the-top exciting and brutal the piranha attack/kill scenes are. That goal rests squarely on the talents of new director John Gulager once shooting starts.
Piranha 3 DD (we'll keep you informed if that title ever changes) is aimed to hit theaters in August, 2011.