Atmosphere Entertainment and Relativity Media have announced thatthe first picture to go into production for their joint venture genre labelChiller Films will be a remake of Joe Dante's 1978 horror hit Piranha.

Chilleris financing and co-producing with Relativity Media, IPW (IntellectualProperties Worldwide) and Wild Bunch following a deal with Chako Film. WildBunch will handle international sales while North American rights remain on thetable.

Chuck Russell, whose credits include The Scorpion King and Nightmare On Elm Street 3, is writing the screenplay about a prehistoricstrain of fish that terrorises college students at Lake Havasu in Arizona.

IPWchairman Marc Toberoff assembled the rights and developed the project beforeAtmosphere's Steve Barnett and IPW head of production J Todd Harris brought theproject to Chiller and Wild Bunch.

Atmoshpere chief Mark Canton is serving as producer with IPW'sToberoff. Atmosphere's Barnett, IPW's Harris, Relativity's Ryan Kavanaugh andChako's Chako VanLeeuwen serve asexecutive producers.

"We felt that Piranha is the perfect genre picture for us to do," Canton said in a statement. "It's aclassic horror thriller with high-end talent attached and with all of theingredients to deliver a plethora of scares."

"I first had the idea to remake Piranha about three years ago, right before thecurrent horror film resurgence," Toberoff added. "That one word tells a storyevoking universal fear. I've always felt that death by piranha was much morehorrifying than death by shark."

Chiller Filmswas set up earlier this year and aims to produce several genre pictures a year capped at $20m each.