12:47pm PT by Philiana Ng
'Sharknado' Stars Ian Ziering, Tara Reid Returning for Sequel
Syfy is bringing back Sharknado stars Ian Ziering and Tara Reid for the New York-set sequel.
This marks the first casting announcement on Sharknado 2: The Second One, which is slated to premiere in July on the NBCUniversal-owned cabler.
Ziering and Reid will reprise their roles as Fin and April.
Anthony Ferrante will also return to direct the sequel from a screenplay by Thunder Levin, who also penned the 2013 original telepic that made a splash on social media.
In Sharknado 2, a freak weather system turns its deadly fury on New York City, unleashing a "sharknado" on the city's population and its most iconic sites, with Fin and April the only ones able to save the city.
"Sharknado was an extraordinary 'perfect storm' which captured the attention of movie fans across the globe. You couldn't go anywhere without hearing about Sharknado! By reassembling the creative team -- and dropping sharks onto New York's iconic sites -- we're unleashing yet another 'fin' wave of shark-mania," said Thomas Vitale, executive vp programming and original movies.
"We're thrilled to be able to bring back the talent that made Sharknado a hit. Can lightning strike twice?" asked Asylum COO Paul Bales. "I don't know, but it's a scientific fact that you're more likely to be killed by lightning than by a shark. This film will have lightning and sharks, so that's got to count for something."
It is unclear whether other original castmembers such as Cassie Scerbo will return for the small-screen sequel. Additional castings are expected to be announced prior to filming. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last summer, Scerbo expressed interest in reprising her role of Nova, saying "I would definitely do a sequel."
Production on the follow-up begins in New York on Feb. 13.
The team has also enlisted Mike Fenton and Ann Frederick to oversee cameo casting.
Syfy announced the Sharknado sequel July 17, days after the initial installment dominated social media. The two-hour movie delivered 1.4 million total viewers to its premiere telecast, with an encore airing trumping that with 2.1 million viewers.
Syfy has since capitalized on the Sharknado surge, creating merchandise (such as T-shirts) tied to the original movie, releasing the movie theatrically in early August and initiating a fan contest to determine the sequel's title.
Ziering is repped by Synergy Management. Reid is repped by Prestige Talent Agency.