Nerdist (owned by Legendary Entertainment) has revealed/announced that Legendary Entertainment has acquired the rights to The Toxic Avenger from Troma Entertainment. The splatter-punk 80’s film was a tasteless spoof of the superhero genre but has gathered cult status. Toxie is the brainchild of Troma, the small indie studio that helped mentor filmmakers like Guardians of The Galaxy’s James Gunn.
A big studio remake has been bandied about for years, but now we can exclusively announce Legendary Entertainment has acquired the feature film rights to The Toxic Avenger, with Kaufman and Herz producing.
The Toxic Avenger tells the story of Melvin, a janitor who works at a health club and gets picked on incessantly by the beefy, attractive, but completely mean patrons, until one day he’s pranked exceptionally hard and falls into a vat of toxic waste. The ensuing mutation turns him into a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength–affectionately known as Toxie–who goes around Tromaville, NJ, cleaning up criminals and corrupt politicians in particularly unpleasant ways. But he’s a lovable hulking monster, at least.
How they’ll approach a remake remains to be seen as the movies were very gory hard-R while it still managed to land a kid-friendly cartoon series (not unlike RoboCop) in the 1990s. Toxie is very much a character that helped inspire the modern cinematic version of Deadpool and helped push gross-out/violence/comedic/meta boundaries in the superhero genre. I think the way to go would be taking a page from Deadpool and you go full R-rated sticking to it’s comedic/satire roots.
Over a full year ago, it was revealed that director Kevin Smith passed on a remake and Deadline reported in 2016 that Sausage Party’s Conrad Vernon was in the mix. It sounds like the project might be slightly more high-profile if Universal/Warner Bros. might be tasked to distribute for Legendary. It’s unknown if Conrad is still involved with it changing hands to another studio.
There is zero mention of a screenwriter or director.