Joe Dante to cameo in Alexandre Aja's Piranha 3-D

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Fans of carnivorous fish movies (and really, who isn't?) are fed up with clunky TV movies like Frankenfish and Shark Venice. So it's about time an assured genre director dipped his toe in the water. French auteur Alexandre Aja (Haute Tension, Mirrors) is teaming up with Gregory Nicotero and Howard Berger of K.N.B. EFX to make Piranha 3-D, which commences shooting in two weeks in Arizona. Make that "remake."

"Well, it's a retelling, actually," Nicotero told SCI FI Wire exclusively at the premiere of Star Trek in Hollywood last week. "It's in 3-D, but the nice thing is we got Richard Dreyfuss to do a cameo, and Joe Dante to do a cameo, so it's going to be a lot of fun."

Joe Dante was the director of the original Piranha (1978), a movie with lots of humor thrown into the blood and chum.

Aja can do the graphic gore, but we haven't seen him try his hand at comedy yet. And he may not here, either. As Aja told us last summer while promoting Mirrors, "Piranha is not a remake. Basically, it does not even [have] a drop of the same character or anything. It's a different setup. It's a different story. It has nothing, nothing, nothing compared to the first one."

Nicotero, who has worked very closely with the director since 2006 (on The Hills Have Eyes remake), said, "Alexandre Aja has a lot of input [on the piranha design]. He really wants to mix it up, so we have a lot of chewed-up bodies, mangled fish and stuff. I literally just finished Inglourious Basterds and am starting on Piranha 3-D right away: one end of the spectrum to the other!" The movie is slated to open March 19, 2010.