Vincenzo Natali has started principal photography on Splice, which Gaumont is co-producing with Canada's Copperheart Entertainment. The film is set to shoot until February 29 in Toronto, with a 2009 release planned.

Splicestars Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley and Delphine Chaneac.

Natali, who found cult success with Cube and also directed a vignette for Paris, Je T'Aime , co-wrote the script with Antoinette Terry Bryant and Doug Taylor. Steven Hoban of Copperheart is producer on the film with Gaumont's Sidonie Dumas, Franck Chorot and Christophe Riandee acting as executive producers along with Guillermo del Toro, Don Murphy and Susan Montford.

Splice is the story of two superstars of the genetic engineering world who specialize in splicing together DNA from different animals to create new hybrids. When the duo decides to use human DNA in a new hybrid, they end up with a creature who exceeds their wildest dreams and their most terrifying nightmare.

'Splice is my mutant baby. It's been gestating in my mind and in my heart for ten years. Now, at last, it is ready to be born. Splice is, at its core, a film about human - and non-human relationships. It is truly a hybrid, a peek into our future and a preview of all the exciting and terrifying creations that await us,' Natali said in a statement.

An official Canada-France treaty co-production, Splice will be released in Canada by Seville Pictures while international sales will be handled by Gaumont.