In totally unexpected news, Peter Dinklage is set to star in Legendary’s reboot of The Toxic Avenger, the cult classic 1984 Troma film directed by Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz. The Toxie reboot will be helmed by Macon Blair, who you probably know from the Jeremy Saulnier movies Green Room and Blue Ruin. Blair also directed the oddball 2017 comedy I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore, starring Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood.
For the uninitiated, The Toxic Avenger was a schlocky low-budget monster/superhero movie about a dweeby janitor who falls into a vat of toxic waste. The disgusting mutation transforms the 98 pound weakling into a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength. The quintessential Troma movie spawned three sequels and even a kid-friendly cartoon in the 1990s called Toxic Crusaders.
Prepare to get this song stuck in your heads.
Dinklage is an off-the-wall choice to play the mop-wielding hero of the film, but I think he can pull it off. It makes me wonder about what the new Toxie will look like, and how much Dinklage’s physical stature will play into the character.
I also wonder what tone Blair will strike with the film. The original Troma movie was nasty and downright cruel at times. The second and third films (shot simultaneously) had a kookier tone, and the uneven fourth film is typical of late-era Troma productions. (I feel like the last worthwhile Troma movie was 1996’s Tromeo and Juliet, which was co-written by James Gunn.) I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore has a modern indie weirdo sensibility, so I wonder how much of that will carry over into the reboot. The fact that Legendary is behind the production makes me think the gross splatter effects of the original film are going to be toned way down.