There are superheroes, and then there’s The Toxic Avenger, pegged as the first superhero to be born from toxic waste. While a remake of the 1984 film has been in development for some time, the project has tapped a new director to take the helm, and that would Conrad Vernon from the animated raunch-fest Sausage Party.
Vernon co-directed the film with Greg Tiernan after previously helming Madagascar 3, Monsters vs. Aliens, and Shrek 2. Deadline was the first to report the news of his involvement on The Toxic Avenger, which the trade states will be “a more grounded and mainstream telling of the story.” Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine 2) was attached as the remake’s helmer in 2010, and a few years later Arnold Schwarzenegger was said to be in talks for a role.
The original film was directed by Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman, and told of the nerdy, wimpy mop boy Melvin Junko, who falls into vats of toxic waste and is mutated into a deformed superhuman with incredible strength. The Toxic Avenger was marked by over-the-top gore and nude: in one scene, the hero crushes a drug pusher’s head with gym equipment weights and later has a sex scene because the transformation also apparently made him a ladies’ man.
Mike Arnold and Chris Poole will rewrite the screenplay penned by Pink and D.C. Mitchell. We’ll have to wait and see how they develop this story, but they have an opportunity here. Similar to how Austin Powers spoofed the spy genre, perhaps The Toxic Avenger will offer a new parody franchise amid the over saturation of superhero movies.
In a statement, Storyscape Entertainment’s Richard Saperstein called Vernon “the perfect director to bring this iconoclastic franchise back to life,” citing his “subversive comedy” chops, so it at least seems like the remake will be bringing the laughs, however inappropriate.