Arnold Schwarzenegger is lining up another lead role, and this one’s a bit of a departure from his hardened characters of late. The Governator is in talks to star in director Steve Pink’s (Hot Tub Time Machine) remake of the 1984 cult classic The Toxic Avenger. The original film featured nerdy janitor Melvin (Mark Torgl) being tossed into a barrel of nuclear waste by a pack of bullies. He then became the hideous, yet superpowered Toxic Avenger (Mitch Cohen). Interestingly, Schwarzenegger is looking to play a character that is not the titular avenger, so don’t expect some major makeup job in Schwarzenegger’s future. He’ll take on the role of “The Exterminator” (clever), a former black ops agent, who trains Toxie to use his powers for good. Together they take on the lurking menace created by the polluters, and the polluters themselves.
John Travolta has previously been rumored for the role of the actual Toxic Avenger, but there’s no word on his involvement at the moment. Pink wrote the script with Daniel C. Mitchell, and the pic is eyeing a fall production start date. Schwarzenegger most recently filmed David Ayer’s actioner Ten and will next be seen opposite Sylvester Stallone in the prison break pic Escape Plan later this year. Hit the jump to watch the trailer for the original Toxic Avenger and to read the press release.
Los Angeles, CA (May, 2013) –Action superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger (TERMINATOR series, TOTAL RECALL) is in negotiations to star in writer/director Steve Pink’s (HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 1 & 2) big budget action comedy THE TOXIC AVENGER produced by Akiva Goldsman (CONSTANTINE, I AM LEGEND, MR AND MRS SMITH), Richard Saperstein (HANCOCK, 1408, SE7EN), Charlie Corwin (HALF NELSON, THE SQUID AND THE WHALE), Stephen Kessler and Michael Benaroya (LAWLESS, MARGIN CALL). Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz will executive produce. The announcement was made today by International Film Trust’s (IFT) President Ariel Veneziano who will handle all international rights to the film alongside IFT’s Head of Sales Christian de Gallegos.
Set to be introduced to buyers at Cannes 2013, THE TOXIC AVENGER is currently in pre-production and scheduled to start principal photography this fall.
Loosely based on Lloyd Kaufman’s classic Troma franchise, THE TOXIC AVENGER is the tale of a high-school kid who gets dunked in a vat of toxic waste by a corrupt chemical company. He survives the ordeal with one major side effect: upon contact with toxic chemicals, he transforms into a monster with superhuman strength. Schwarzenegger would play “the Exterminator,” a former black ops agent, who trains Toxie to use his powers for good. Together they take on the lurking menace created by the polluters, and the polluters themselves.
“Moviegoers around the world were thrilled when Arnold Schwarzenegger returned to acting so effortlessly filling the gap that he left behind,” said producer and IFT co-founder Michael Benaroya. “He is the ultimate action hero with a natural comedic versatility and will be pitch perfect in The Toxic Avenger.”
“Our film is a perfect combination of commercial genre, star power and award winning filmmakers to set it apart from other titles on offer at Cannes this year. The Toxic Avenger is a blockbuster in waiting with franchise potential. The buyers will love it,” said IFT President Ariel Veneziano.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s role in James Cameron’s THE TERMINATOR series solidified his place as one of the leading action hero actors with roles in blockbuster hits including PREDATOR, TOTAL RECALL, TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY and TRUE LIES. Proving to be a multi-talented performer, Schwarzenegger crossed over into comedic roles with box office hits TWINS opposite Danny DeVito and Ivan Reitman’s KINDERGARTEN COP. After taking an extended break to become the Governor of California, Schwarzenegger returned to acting in 2012 with THE EXPENDABLES 2, which grossed over $300 million worldwide. He will next be seen in Summit Entertainment’s ESCAPE PLAN and Open Road Films’ TEN. He is represented by CAA and Patrick Knapp at Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Felmdman Schenkman & Goodman.