Deadline NY is reporting that Troma’s flagship franchise, The Toxic Avenger, is getting a big budget remake. Akiva Goldsman (Hancock, I Am Legend, and the upcoming Jonah Hex), Richard Saperstein (Hancock, The Mist, Mother’s Day) and Charlie Corwin (The Squid and the Whale) are behind the deal, and have picked up rights to the franchise to create four sequels, an animated TV series and comic book series. Writers are being sought for the project right now.
The story will remain the same and revolve around Melvin, a 98 pound weakling tormented by the bullies at the Tromaville Health Club who falls into a vat of toxic ooze after a prank goes wrong. He emerges as the Toxic Avenger and uses his newfound size and strength to dispatch violent vigilante justice to the evildoers of Jersey. But the thing that will terrify most of us who grew up seeing Toxie literally rip bad guys to pieces (they usually deserved it) is that they’re looking to make this remake a PG-13 affair.
Quite a step from Citizen Toxie, the latest and greatest film in the series, which featured an old lady being run over and shitting and pissing herself as she died, a school shooting in a school for the “gifted”, abortions, a black man being drug to his death behind a truck, a man getting aids after being stabbed with syringes, and two fetuses duking it out in utero.
The remake will be mounted as a family friendly PG-13 action comedy akin to The Mask, which Saperstein worked on when he was a New Line exec.
This isn’t Saperstein’s first Troma remake, as he also worked on the upcoming Mother’s Day with Brett Ratner, with Saw‘s Darren Bousman directing. Saperstein is also working on Rob Zombie’s remake of The Blob.
How did this happen? It’s likely that the newfound success of the excellent Toxic Avenger musical has helped things along, and the concept of an environmentally conscious superhero is definitely back in favor once again, 16 years after Toxie originally appeared on the scene in NJ. Toxie’s made his way into a children’s cartoon before as well as pretty much every other form of media, so it’s not like this came out of nowhere. Still, good for Lloyd and crew for making out with this deal- hopefully one that gives them the opportunity to get working on another project sometime soon. It’s been too long since Poultrygeist!
Add Citizen Toxie to your Netflix Instant queue tonight and pay homage to the big green mutant.