Exclusive: Patrick Melton talks Piranha 3DD, The Collection, The Outer Limits and More!
This writer caught up with screenwriter Patrick Melton (the man behind such frightful fare, along with cohort Marcus Dunstan, as the Feast series, Saw IV through 3D and The Collector) last Thursday night to pick his brain on his current projects--namely, his involvement with Piranha 3DD, The Collection (the latter the sequel to 2009's The Collector) and his approach to the MGM project The Outer Limits.
“We are now scouting locations and writing Piranha 3 Double D,” said Melton from Shreveport, Louisiana, and although he was unable to communicate the film’s narrative at this early stage, this writer posits that it may or may not have a slight similarity to a 1983 3D sequel featuring another cinematic fish (and if so, this writer hopes for a Dennis Quaid cameo a la Dreyfuss’ inspired casting in this year’s Piranha remake).
“We are shooting to finish the script before Thanksgiving,” continued Melton. “It’s coming together pretty quickly. Marcus and I did a polish (un-credited) on the script of the first (Piranha) so we are pretty familiar with it, and with the evolution of it all, so it’s a continuation. I think we are going to hopefully expand the universe a bit. We are introducing a new set of characters.”
On working once again with filmmaker John Gulager, who is slated to direct Piranha 3DD (Melton and Dunstan’s careers have been intertwined with the director’s ever since 2005’s "Project Greenlight" Season 3, which gave raucous birth to the first Feast film), “We’ve always been working together on certain other projects, like The Neighbor that was set up at Dimension, which never quite went. He and his brother, Tom, also developed this story that Marcus and I had called The Good Doctor, and John wanted to direct it, and it’s pretty hardcore. Pirahna 3DD came up sort of out of the blue, and since we already have the ‘short-hand’ way of communicating with one another, and it needed to be done quickly, it happened. It’s good to be involved with people you know and trust and have worked with together before.”
As for the projected start date of principal photography for Piranha 3DD (Dimension has a slated theatrical release of August 2011), “We have all been reading the Farmer’s Almanac of weather for Louisiana and looking for the best time to shoot,” said Melton. “It’ll be early next year, winter, which means hard nipples all around, but you don’t want the hard nipples to mix with blue skin and shivering girls so we’ll figure it out. When it’s sunny, it’s quite pleasant though.”
With Saw 3D still charting as one of the top ten box office films currently in release, Melton commented on having co-scripted the flick, which has been being marketed as the last in the Jigsaw series.
“It’s a different feeling, having worked on the franchise constantly for four years, and now it’s sort of over. I’m glad we did it, and we may have done some things differently with it, but that’s how it is when you pick a film. It’s a very collaborative effort, but I am happy where it ended up.”