There are no sea creatures that can match the terror that was permanently placed in moviegoers when Steven Spielberg made Jaws, but if anything were to come close, it might be Piranha. No, the Piranha franchise, which actually started as a spoof of Spielberg’s classic shark thriller, has never quite been the critical darling and beloved blockbuster that the original Jaws was, but the series has persisted over the years and has provided some solid, if campy, sea creature horror. Now it looks like after a few years away, the Piranha franchise is ready to make a return to the big screen next year.
Per Bloody Disgusting, Producer Hisako Tsukaba is currently working on a new movie in the Piranha series that is set to be released at some point in 2018. The movie is titled Summer of the Piranha and is reportedly already in the pre-production stages in Japan. Unfortunately, no plot details were provided, but we can safely assume it will involve some young people being eaten alive by terrifying fish with very sharp teeth. It looks like the movie is being planned predominantly for Japanese audiences, and also goes by the title Piranha JPN.
The first Piranha was directed by Joe Dante, who is probably best known for directing Gremlins and Gremlins 2, and was released in 1978. The movie was a bit of a cult hit and did well enough to warrant a sequel. Piranha II: The Spawning is by no means considered to be a good movie, but it significant in that it was the feature film directorial debut from James Cameron. Yes, the very same man who would eventually go on to direct classics like The Terminator and Aliens. After that, the series was dormant until a made-for-tv remake was released in 1995, which again killed the franchise for about 15 years.
In 2010, the series got a much-needed reboot with Piranha 3D. The movie embraced the camp factor and boasted a surprisingly stacked cast that included Adam Scott, Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames, Richard Dreyfuss and Elisabeth Shue. The movie was received pretty well by critics, currently boasting a 73 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It also did really well at the box office, bringing in $83 million worldwide from just a $24 million budget. So, a sequel followed in 2012, but Piranha 3DD didn’t fare as well. The movie was trashed by critics and made less than $9 million worldwide. Though another installment in the series was planned, it never got going.
It seems like Summer of the Piranha will be a reboot and won’t fall into the same continuity as Piranha 3D. Even though we don’t yet have any plot details for the next entry in the Piranha franchise, some concept art for the movie was revealed, which depicts a massive man-eating fish and some imagery that seems very much in line with the legacy of Piranha. There is no word yet on a director or cast for Summer of the Piranha, but with the movie slated for release next year, we should be learning some more about it in the near future. Be sure to check out the concept art for yourself below.