It’s been a bit since we heard about Legendary’s plan to turn Troma’s The Toxic Avenger into a more mainstream-friendly, Deadpool-style satirical superhero film, but that doesn’t mean Hollywood has given up on Toxie. In fact, the project even has a big-name star now: Peter Dinklage, who Deadline says will be starring in the new Toxic Avenger (presumably as the Toxic Avenger himself, but Deadline doesn’t specifically say). As we learned last year, Macon Blair (I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore) will be directing, with original directors and Troma founders Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz producing—just so you know this isn’t being done without some artistic legitimacy, if “artistic legitimacy” is even a relevant thing to bring up when talking about Troma.
The original Toxic Avenger is about a guy named Melvin who lives in a terrible place called Tromaville and is constantly harassed by bullies/deranged killers. Eventually, the bullies chase Melvin into a vat of toxic waste, which causes him to become deformed and gives him super strength. He then becomes a vigilante hero, murdering criminals and exposing the corruption of Tromaville’s crooked mayor. That may sound relatively straightforward, but this is the Troma film we’re talking about, so it’s more fucked-up than it may seem.
It’ll be interesting to see how fucked-up this Blair/Dinklage version will be, but it should at least be a little fucked-up if Legendary wants to justify using the Toxic Avenger name. Like, Deadpool is a scamp who says things that might get him in trouble, but the movie version of the character isn’t fucked-up. His face is all gross, as Ryan Reynolds and T.J. Miller repeatedly point out in those scenes where they keep making jokes back and forth to pad out the movie’s runtime, but again, it’s not fucked-up in the way that The Toxic Avenger should be fucked-up.