Vincenzo Natali has begun casting on horror movie Splice, a Canada-France co-production set in the mutable world of genetic engineering.

A production of Toronto-based Copperheart Entertainment and France's Gaumont, the film is wrtten by Natali, produced by Copperheart's Steven Hoban and executive produced by Gaumont's Franck Chorot. Guillermo del Toro, Don Murphy and Susan Montford's Angry Bulls shingle is on board as an executive producing entity.

The story follows two young scientists who have spliced different animal DNA to create new forms of life, thus pushing legal and ethical boundaries past the breaking point.

Hoban told Screen International that the new film is 'a natural progression' from his career-launching 1997 debut Cube, which was a tremendous hit in France. 'It's an extension of what makes him intereesting as a filmmaker. It might be a dark outlook but it could be our reality. It explores the consequences of the science and technology we are developing today.'

Gaumont will release the film in France and sell it worldwide ex Canada. Hoban said a Canadian releasing deal is pending casting.

'Vincenzo is taking Splice to really edgy places,' said Del Toro in a statement.
'The moment I cringed while reading the script I knew I wanted to help him realize his vision. He understands that true horror needs to be morally dangerous.'

Shooting begins in Toronto this summer while creature SFX will be done in Paris, Toronto and Berkeley, California.