Peter Dinklage has signed on for his first major post-Game Of Thrones role. He will star in Legendary’s upcoming reboot of The Toxic Avenger.
Macon Blair (I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore) will direct a “contemporary reimagining” of the classic schlock fest that was previously made by Troma Entertainment, who specialised in low-budget splatter films.
The original Toxic Avenger was a staple of midnight screenings and VHS rentals in the 80s and 90s. It tells the story of a nerdy outcast who accidentally falls into a barrel of toxic waste after a cruel prank, which transforms him into a grotesque mutant.
However, he quickly becomes a champion of the people, battling psychotic bullies, evil drug dealers, corrupt politicians, and even the literal devil. Don’t expect this guy to be joining the actual Avengers anytime soon.
Since its release, the original film has become a cult classic and one of Troma’s most recognisable titles. It spawned three sequels, a stage musical, and a children’s cartoon series complete with accompanying action figures, a somewhat bizarre phenomenon considering the film is filled with over-the-top violence.
Troma co-founders Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz developed the original film, and they’re on board for the reboot as producers.
It’s hard to imagine exactly what this new Toxic Avenger will look like. Troma’s films are defined by their low-budget and absurd violence, but with Dinklage on board, this will obviously have some sort of budget, and the violence likely won’t be as nasty as the original film.
What this reboot will likely retain is the subversive aspect, and in that sense both Dinklage and Blair might be great fits. Dinklage has always been good at balancing comedy with seriousness in unique ways, and Blair’s film choices always have a hint of irony within their darker themes, and I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore is a dark, bizarre genre piece.
Legendary are likely trying to find a hole in the superhero market. There are surely those who want a superhero who’s not defending the world and doesn’t take himself too seriously, yet without the huge budgets and general wink-wink nature of Deadpool. Maybe The Toxic Avenger can develop into a surprising franchise.
Either way, this should be a interesting project, and it will be fascinating to see what the finished product looks like.