Peter Winther has signed to direct Arclight's creature feature Speed Demon, set to begin principal photography next spring and dedicated to the late Oscar-winning effects guru Stan Winston.

Special effects creature designer Patrick Tatopoulos, whose credits include I Am Legend and 10,000 BC, will bring to life the last designs developed by Winston for the project.

Arclight's new production chief Mike Gabrawy is producing with Kim Winther. Winston, who died in June, also gets a producer credit. Arclight managing director Gary Hamilton will serve as executive producer.

Randy Vampotic and Mike Sorrentino wrote the screenplay about a woman and a mob enforcer who track down a stash of diamonds to a remote desert road where they face a monstrous test.

'Stan was a legend and an inspiration for me,' Winther said. 'I grew up watching his creations, which led me to film-making in the first place. I have had the incredible privilege of working with Stan and now the honour of bringing his final creature to the big screen. I'm excited beyond belief.'