Kevin Smith Turned Down Directing 'Toxic Avenger' Remake

Indie icon Kevin Smith was reportedly offered a chance to reboot The Toxic Avenger, but declined the offer, the filmmaker said during a recent Fatman on Batman podcast.

Smith has been attached to a number of big-name projects that never happened, whether it's the Superman Lives movie or Amazon's abortive attempt at making a Buckaroo Banzai TV series. He is currently planned as the showrunner for a TV series based on Todd McFarlane's Spawn spinoff, Sam & Twitch.

During a discussion of his franchise opportunities, Smith said that he did not pursue that kind of project very much anymore, but that recently, "Somebody asked me, 'Hey man, we've got The Toxic Avenger, and we're gonna remake it, do a reboot, and hey, you're from Jersey.' And you know, I always kind of dug what Lloyd Kaufman and the Troma people do, it was right in Jersey, I remember seeing them on the news all the time - 'Hollywood, motion pictures in New Jersey? Right here at Troma!' And The Toxic Avenger was insanely well known. So I always respected the Troma world and Toxie franchise. So I was like, all right, I'll go down the rabbit hole a bit and see what's what," Smith explained. "And we parted ways fundamentally on the budget, because I was just like, 'Part of the charm of The Toxic Avenger is that it was made for two nickels. If you're gonna do it again, don't spend a lot of money.' But they were like, 'No no no, it's a $35 million movie.' And I was like, 'It's a f*ckin' remake of The Toxic Avenger, the guy in a tutu with a bad makeup job, what are we gonna spend all the money on?' So right then and there, I'm clearly not on the same page."

Smith likened the decision to making a big-budget remake of Clerks, saying "Why bother?"

The remake has changed hands a number of times, with actors like John Travolta and Arnold Schwarzenegger courted and at least three different directors mentioned. At last report, it was still in limbo, with one of the Sausage Party directors attached.

Clerks, of course, was Smith's black-and-white debut film. In addition to a sequel and an animated series follow-up, the movie was the inspiration for a notoriously-terrible live-action pilot starring Jim Breuer. Smith's next movie, Mallrats, came about after Universal Studios pursued the possibility of remaking Clerks with name actors and in color.

h/t: JoBlo