EXCLUSIVE: Hot Tub Time Machine director Steve Pink will helm the remake of The Toxic Avenger, which he’ll write with Daniel C. Mitchell. Deadline revealed last April that remake rights to the Troma Films seminal title were acquired by producers Akiva Goldsman, Richard Saperstein and Charlie Corwin. That package was expansive and included the 1984 original, four sequels, an animated TV series and comic books. Corwin’s Original Media, which is a partnership with Dutch reality TV maker Endemol, is funding development of what the makers call an environmentally-conscious action-comedy. In the original, the protagonist is a mop-wielding simpleton named Melvin, whose trusting ways made him easy prey for gym thugs who tossed him into a vat of toxic waste. The transformation into Toxie didn’t help his complexion, but gave him rippling muscles to wreak havoc on New Jersey polluters. The byproduct was that despite his misshapen appearance, the chicks finally dig Melvin after a lifetime of being ignored.
“The Toxic Avenger is exactly what the country–wait, that’s not big enough–what the world needs right now,” said Pink, who also directed Accepted and whose scripting credits include Grosse Pointe Blank and High Fidelity. Kerry Foster, who runs Goldsman’s Weed Road, is executive producer with Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, the Troma proprietors who created Toxic Avenger. Shara Kay is co-producer. WME made Pink’s deal.
UPDATE: Lloyd Kaufman disputed my assessment that The Toxic Avenger doesn’t belong on the short list of the elite indie films of the 1980s. I’m letting him have his turn, though I can’t say he has changed my mind.
Your article impugning the integrity of the IFTA Board of Directors, suggesting that its choices of the 30 “Most Significant Independent Films” have been foisted upon it by me, its Chairman, is absurd and an insult to the entire Board.
Everyone on the 27-member IFTA Board of Directors voted by secret ballot and I had absolutely no influence on the outcome. In fact, there was no politicking involved at all. These are the Board’s choices and the board’s alone. It is ridiculous for you to state that a group that includes film icons like Roger Corman, Avi Lerner and Mark Damon would be led around by me!
IFTA, for whom I’ve had the honor of serving as chairman for the past three years, is recognizing the “Most Significant Independent Films” in terms of both art and commerce. Nowhere did IFTA say “Best” or “Top” independent films. In fact IFTA took great pains to avoid using those terms.
Regarding you dismissal of The Toxic Avenger, I really wonder if you have seen the film. In every respect, The Toxic Avenger is worthy of receiving an honorable mention as one the “Most Significant Independent Films” of the past 30 … Read More »