The Toxic Avenger remake

While the Avengers from Marvel Studios will likely rule the big screen for years to come, a different avenger is lying in wait and hoping to once again make a splash of his own.

Legendary Pictures has acquired the feature film rights to The Toxic Avenger and are planning a remake of the trashy 1984 Troma cult classic, which follows a nerdy kid who falls into a vat of toxic waste and emerges as a mutated superhero.

The Toxic Avenger Remake

For anyone worrying about the low-budget property retaining its gritty roots, know that Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz from Troma Entertainment – the co-directors of the original movie – will produce this remake for Legendary Pictures. Here’s the quick breakdown of the plot:

The Toxic Avenger follows Tromaville, New Jersey’s monstrous protector, Toxie, who is born when the mild-mannered Melvin falls into a vat of toxic waste. He’s transformed into a repulsive-yet-lovable mutant hero who stands up to bullies and corruption with irreverent zeal – doing good and brutally mauling evil in no-holds-barred fashion.

Here’s the trailer for the original (which, fittingly, is of terrible quality):

The goofy, over-the-top concept proved fruitful for Troma, who made multiple sequels and spun the property off into a Marvel comic, a stage musical, and a children’s cartoon series. The cartoon show was on the air around the era of Captain Planet, in which animated shows were embracing the message of saving the environment. Considering all of the recent research about how humanity better get our collective act together to stifle the effects of climate change, it seems like it may be good timing for a reminder of that message.

Hollywood has been trying to remake this movie for years, with people like Akiva Goldsman, Hot Tub Time Machine director Steve PinkJohn Travolta, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sausage Party director Conrad Vernon, and Kevin Smith attached at various points since 2010.

But will modern audiences flock to a Toxic Avenger remake? The movie isn’t widely-known outside of film geek circles, and as you can probably glean from the trailer, it’s clear that some of the film’s more exploitation-style moments would generate hundreds of think pieces if they remained in tact for a remake. What’s the angle here? Is this remake going to lean into the ridiculousness of it all, or will someone come along and try to do the “dark and gritty” serious version? There’s no word yet about who might be attached to write or direct The Toxic Avenger remake, but stay tuned for more as we learn it.

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