French horror auteur Alexandre Aja, who is helming a remake of the camp 1978 horror film Piranha, told reporters that the movie will be made in 3-D and will push the limits of on-screen gore.

The prospect of directing the first R-rated live-action 3-D movie was “the only reason that we’re making that movie,” Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) told a group of journalists in an edit bay at Paramount Studios, where Aja is putting the finishing touches on his upcoming Fox supernatural thriller Mirrors. Aja added: “We are thinking, … let’s imagine, like, a real horror movie, a real R-rated movie, in 3-D. That would be the ultimate experience. That would be the ultimate immersion of the audience into the nightmare.”

Aja, who first garnered attention among horrorphiles for his graphic French thriller Haute Tension (High Tension), is eager to push the boundaries of gore in Piranha, in which an earthquake releases a school of prehistoric piranha into a lake where a group of young people are celebrating spring break.

“There is … a fun dimension in the real gore,” Aja said. “I mean, we’re going to explore that in Piranha. Piranha is super gore. It’s like, we are ready to break all the records of blood used.”

Aja plans to shoot Piranha at a real spring break destination, Lake Havasu in Arizona. The movie has a simple story, but can also be read as something of a green revenge tale, he added. “Basically, it’s about fish killing and eating drunk, stupid college kids,” he said with a laugh. “So it’s really about that. Yes, it’s fun. Yes, it’s going to be about … the revenge of the piranha. They messed up with the lake. They messed up with nature.” He added that the movie will explore “what would be the ultimate scary thing that could happen to you. … And that brings fun ideas of how to be really gory.”

The film’s fish will be created largely with computer imagery. Piranha is aiming for a July 2009 release.

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