Piranha 3D -- Alexandre Aja's updating of Joe Dante's killer fish cult classic -- opens in theaters today. It looks to be a wild and cheesy good time featuring lots of gore and naked flesh. Most of that naked flesh comes courtesy of the film's spoof of the Girls Gone Wild videos. Wild Wild Girls! is the film's version of the popular video series best known for getting drunken college girls to flash their breasts on camera -- and actor Jerry O'Connell plays a character loosely based on GGW founder Joe Francis.
Francis wants the world to know that it's a part inspired by him and not him specifically -- and to make sure that point is clear he's had an LA law firm send out a letter cautioning everyone to make sure they don't disparage Mr. Francis when talking about the film or use his name in conjunction with O'Connell's character. The letter points out that websites like Bloody-Disgusting and NYPost.com have made statements insinuating that O'Connell plays Joe Francis in the movie. That's a no-no, apparently.
Some of the highlights from the letter are as follows: "We caution all those associated with this film to refrain from maligning Mr. Francis in promoting the film or otherwise." The repercussions for not refraining from maligning Mr. Francis? "Any defamatory or disparaging statements; or depictions, in the media or the film itself, or statements that portray Mr. Francis in a false light, will be met with swift litigation to recover substantial damages, including punitive damages to discourage such conduct in the future." Or in other words, they'll sue the crap out of you.
So, now piranha aren't the scariest thing at the box office this weekend -- the shark attorneys are out and they smell blood in the water. Everyone be on their best behavior when talking about Joe Francis.