Late last year, it was announced that Peter Dinklage had officially boarded an upcoming reboot of Troma Entertainment’s cult classic movie, The Toxic Avenger, in the lead role. The unlikely horror-superhero-schlock-comedy film spawned an entire franchise when it first debuted back in 1984. In an interview with Dread Central, Troma Entertainment president Lloyd Kaufman affirmed his faith in the reboot by declaring the new film already has a better script than the original.
“[Writer and director] Macon Blair knows Troma better than I do. He’s seen everything. He’s seen the cartoon, he’s seen the Halloween special, he’s seen everything. And he loves our movies like Troma’s War and Terror Firmer. I’ve read the script and it’s better than the original and I leave it to him. If I’m called upon, I’d be happy to jump in. I learned on the musical to leave the creative to the creative. I learned to let them ask so if they want me, I’m there.”
Of course, a better script/production value/acting etc. might not be what fans of the Toxic Avenger are looking for. The original film became a cult classic in great part due to its campy, low-budget feel, which perfectly encapsulated Troma’s commitment to making schlock movies on a tiny budget through the inventive use of minimal resources.
The Toxic Avenger reboot, on the other hand, is being made by Legendary Entertainment, which means it will have a big budget, shiny production values, and a prestige actor like Peter Dinklage in the lead role. Many fans will miss the DIY-straight-to-DVD vibe of the original movie when it was seen as a subversive piece of cinema produced by a scrappy little studio instead of a product of mainstream Hollywood.
The Toxic Avenger tells the story of Melvin Ferd, a skinny, timorous janitor who works at a health club in the fictional town of Tromaville, New Jersey. Melvin is constantly harassed by the customers at the club, and one such incident leads to his being thrown into a drum of toxic waste.
Melvin comes out of the drum hideously deformed, but also gifted with superhuman size and strength. The rest of the movie, and other installments in the franchise, follow Melvin’s transformation into a violent superhero, and his attempts to find love in his new deformed state. According to Lloyd Kaufman, the desire to make a movie like The Toxic Avenger came from a response to an article by Variety, as well as his own feelings about environmental pollution.
“Variety said that horror films were no longer commercial and Michael [Herz] and I usually do the opposite of what the so-called experts do. We had to go away from the raunchy comedies because the majors were doing them. We prefer comedy and satire, that’s my beat. My wife and I would go camping a lot and everywhere we would go, there would be garbage. I started looking into the environment and I thought that could be a good theme to work on.”
This news originated at Dread Central.