The Weinstein Company’s Piranha 3-D franchise reboot continues to add an interesting mix of actors to its cast with Jerry O’Connell (Obsessed) the latest to sign on. O’Connell will join Elisabeth Shue (yes, the Oscar nominated Elisabeth Shue), Ving Rhames (Dawn of the Dead), Adam Scott (Party Down) Jessica Szohr (Gossip Girl) and Richard Dreyfuss. Dreyfuss will reportedly make an extended cameo, paying homage to his Hooper character from Jaws at the story’s beginning.
The original film, released in 1978, about a small lakeside town terrorized by razor toothed fish was produced by Roger Corman and directed by Joe Dante. Dante would later go on to helm Gremlins in 1984. Piranha, produced for a mere $660,000, was intended to capitalize on the huge success of Jaws. While it swam strictly in B-movie territory, it’s turned out to be a really fun movie under Dante’s inventive direction. It’s one of those films that has a strong cult following and continues to find new fans on DVD. A sequel was produced in 1981 titled Piranha II: The Spawning under the direction of an unknown, at the time, James Cameron (Titanic). Surprisingly the final product was pretty bad. Alexandre Aja, who did a great job directing the remake of “The Hill Have Eyes”, will helm this project which has a release date of March 19, 2010. It will be distributed by Dimension films. I hope the talented Aja puts out a quality product as I love these kinds of movies.