Whether you love them or hate them, you have to admit that the Toxic Avenger movies have been quite successful. (Relatively, anyway. This ain’t Jurassic Park we’re talking about here.) Lloyd Kaufman’s Troma Entertainment—again, for better or for worse—is basically The House That Toxie Built, and the movies’ descent into “putridness and nihilism,” as The A.V. Club’s Charles Bramesco put it in his rundown of the series, reflects the larger withdrawal of the Troma cult into a insular, methane-scented world of its very own.
In other words, somebody needs to come and pull New Jersey’s favorite mutant son from the toxic waste dump of his own franchise, and Conrad Vernon is here to attempt just that. Deadline reports that the Sausage Party co-director, who previously directed the more family-friendly animated films Shrek 2, Monsters Vs. Aliens, and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, has been hired to helm a remake of the 1984 original.
The film is being billed as a “re-imagining” of the franchise from a more “grounded and mainstream” perspective, which presumably means it’ll go lighter on the deliberately offensive ethnic and sexual humor compared to the Troma versions. The words “iconoclastic” and “subversive” are being thrown around though, so it’ll still be gross. “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 says.
The Toxic Avenger remake is being produced by Se7en and Hancock producer Richard Saperstein, along with Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road production company and reality-TV veteran Charlie Corwin. This appropriately motley crew has hired Archer’s Mike Arnold and Chris Poole to rewrite the screenplay; Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz will executive produce, because there’s no way Lloyd Kaufman would allow a deal of this size with even the most tangential relationship to his work to go through without him.