Game of Thrones and Avengers: Infinity War actor Peter Dinklage is set to star in the forthcoming reboot of The Toxic Avenger from Legendary Pictures. The film, based on the long-running franchise created by legendary schlock film studio Troma, centers on a 98-pound nerd from New Jersey, who falls into a vat of toxic waste and is transformed into a good-natured and ultimately heroic monster. In addition to the film franchise and a short-lived animated series called Toxic Crusaders, the title character, affectionately known as "Toxie," has become the mascot for Troma over the years, used on merchandise and title cards.
Macon Blair is on board to direct the film, arguably his biggest directorial effort yet, after the indie films I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore. and Brothers, which IMDb says will star Dinklage and Infinity War baddie Josh Brolin. Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz will serve as producers on Toxic Avenger.
An indie-friendly director and a fan-favorite actor like Dinklage could go a long way toward helping fans who might be suspicious of a bigger-budget, bigger-studio reimagining of the Toxic Avenger franchise.
The original film's success led to sequels The Toxic Avenger Part II, The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie, and Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV. The last feature film was produced in 2000, and by 2015, they and dozens of other Troma movies (as well as the Toxic Crusaders TV series) were available for free on the Troma Movies YouTube channel. As of now, it doesn't appear that's the case anymore.
The Toxic Avenger franchise is just one of a number of such properties at Troma, like Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. and The Class of Nuke 'Em High -- although outside of the indie film space, only Toxic Avenger has found a lot of mainstream success. It nevertheless dabbled a little bit in environmental themes, and the same kind of winking deconstruction of the superhero genre that made Deadpool a success years later.
"The people who made [Deadpool] are all big fans of Troma," Kaufman told ComicBook.com during a 2016 interview at the Twin Tiers Comic Con. "I've lost count of how many times I've had fans come up and say those guys talk about Troma all the time."
You can see Kaufman in the upcoming documentary The Last Blockbuster, talking about his hatred for the late, lamented video-rental retailer. The film releases on December 15 on digital platforms, or you can buy the Blu-ray now from the Blockbuster Bend website.