The long-promised Toxic Avenger remake seemed like a pipe dream for a while now, but it looks like some serious progress is happening these days. The Troma reimagining just scored a director in Conrad Vernon, who previously helped helm Shrek 2, Monsters vs. Aliens, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and, most recently, last month’s Sausage Party. I guess this thing is finally coming together.
Variety (via Slashfilm) reported the new development. With over 25 years in animation, with experience in storyboarding, character design and voice acting in addition to directing, this project will serve as his first venture into live-action filmmaking. But each of his films have delved into various different genres and tones. Perhaps he’s used to jumping around different positions and responsibilities.
With Vernon’s hiring, Archer writers Mike Arnold and Chris Poole are also coming aboard to rewrite the script previously penned by D.C. Mitchell and Hot Tub Time Machine director Steve Pink. It’s, of course, based on Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz’s original 1984 trash cult classic The Toxic Avenger, about feeble mop boy who falls into a tube of toxic waste and becomes a monstrous hero for the local town.
“The opportunity to re-imagine a favorite cult-classic from my high school years is an honor. Toxie is an underground icon. My favorite kind,” Vernon said to Variety.
The original spanned three sequels, a short-lived children’s cartoon series and established Troma’s brand. A Hollywood-ized remake will likely not capture the sleazy charm of the first, but here’s hoping they make something better than your average ’80s remake. Hopefully it’s more Evil Dead than, say, Poltergeist. Although the once-proposed PG-13 rating is doing itself no favors. Go big or go home. With Vernon’s involvement, however, they might be pushing for the R-rating. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if Deadpool‘s success inspired this new version.
“Conrad Vernon is a subversive comedic genius. He is the perfect director to bring this iconoclastic franchise back to life,” producer Richard Saperstein said.
There’s no word yet on who’ll star in this new take, or when it hopes to roll cameras. At different points, John Travolta and Arnold Schwarzenegger were attached, but they no longer seem to be involved. Probably for the best. Sorry Schwarzenegger.