The Toxic Avenger is a cult-classic superhero black comedy movie from 1984, starring Mark Torgl and Mitch Cohen as the main character Melvin and his monstrous transformation, The Toxic Avenger, respectively.
The new movie is not a remake, but a reboot with a “contemporary reimagining” of the story, originally written by Lloyd Kaufman. It is the fifth installment in the Toxic Avenger franchise.
Troma Entertainment, which was founded in 1974 by Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman, is known for producing B-movies with campy concepts and gruesome practical effects in the comedy-horror genre.
To be clear, this is a reboot and not a remake, so there will be changes to the original storyline, but Macon Blair confirmed in January 2022 that the film will still utilize practical gore effects like the original.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about The Toxic Avenger before its release.
Editor’s Note: This piece was updated on September 21, 2023.
When Is ‘The Toxic Avenger’ Supposed To Come Out?
After being stuck in limbo for the last several years, The Toxic Avenger will finally have its world premiere on September 21, 2023, at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas.
Unfortunately for those not attending Fantastic Fest, there has been no information provided regarding when the film will be released to the public.
If you can look past the sheer cheesiness of the era, the original The Toxic Avenger is a trip to watch. Watching the original might give you some more insight into what to expect from the upcoming reboot, and having a refresher will help to pinpoint the changes that have been made to the storyline.
Is There a Trailer for ‘The Toxic Avenger’?
There is no official trailer yet. Production and development have been kept under wraps. Hopefully, there will be a trailer or some production stills released soon, considering the movie has been in post-production since August 14, 2021.
A series of photos from the film were revealed by Entertainment Weekly in September 2023.
What’s ‘The Toxic Avenger’ About?
Winston is your classic target for bullying. He’s easily pushed around and harassed at his job as a janitor at Garb-X health club. When he learns that he has a terminal illness, he goes to his employer for help, as the treatment for his diagnosis is extremely expensive. After he is rudely dismissed, he hatches a scheme to rob his boss and the company, in order to continue providing for his son.
During his attempt, he accidentally falls into a vat of toxic waste, which transforms him into a monstrous beast with superhuman strength and size. With his newfound strength, he sets out on a path of vengeance to get back at those who have wronged him and to protect others who are victims of the same bullying he was subjected to his whole life.
The official synopsis via Legendary reads:
A horrible toxic accident transforms downtrodden janitor, Winston Gooze into a new evolution of superhero: THE TOXIC AVENGER!
Who Stars in ‘The Toxic Avenger’?
Peter Dinklage, who is best known for his role as Tyrion in HBO’s series Game of Thrones, will be playing Winston/The Toxic Avenger. He has also been seen more recently as the titular character in the romantic musical drama, Cyrano. Dinklage is also currently working on the upcoming 2023 installment in The Hunger Games franchise: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
Winston’s stepson Wade will be played by Jacob Tremblay. Tremblay won the Critics Choice Movie Award for “Best Young Performer” at the age of 10 years old for his performance alongside Brie Larson in the 2015 film, Room. He was also the youngest nominee for the “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role” Award by the Screen Actor’s Guild for that same role.
Taylour Paige will play the character J.J. Doherty, an investigative reporter who moonlights as a vigilante detective. Paige is best known for her role as the titular character in the 2020 A24 film, Zola, as well as Dussie Mae in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Kevin Bacon (They/Them) will play the villain of the film Bob Garbinger, a corporate overlord who has been compared to Lex Luthor. Elijah Wood is set to play Fritz Garbinger, the disfigured brother of Bob and a henchman of sorts. Wood and Macon Blair have worked together before, on the film I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore, which was written and directed by Blair. Blair also had a minor cameo appearance in this movie.
Sarah Niles (Ted Lasso) will be playing Mayor Togar. In the original Toxic Avenger, the mayor played a pivotal role in leading the largest crime ring in the city, so we’ll have to wait and see if Blair wrote her character that way or not. Julia Davis (A Very British Scandal) will play a character named Kissy Sturnevan and Johnny Coyne (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) will play a character named Thad Barkabus.
Additionally, director Macon Blair is listed in the cast as a man named Dennis. When he’s not writing or directing, Blair has been in several movies such as The Hunt, I Care A Lot, and Green Room. Similar to writer/director like M. Night Shyamalan, Blair has a tendency to make sure there’s always room on the cast list for him to have a small role.
Who Is Making ‘The Toxic Avenger’?
This film will be written and directed by Macon Blair (I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore), under the guidance of Troma Entertainment and Legendary Pictures. His script was given a big thumbs-up by the original film’s writer, Kaufman. Michael Herz, who directed the original film, will be co-producing the reboot with Kaufman. Dana Gonzales (Greenland) will serve as the film’s cinematographer with Brett W. Bachman (Mandy) and James Thomas (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) serving as the editor.
When Did ‘The Toxic Avenger’ Film?
A remake was originally announced in 2010, with the aim to release a more family-friendly PG-13 version of the film, similar to the Toxic Crusaders animated television series. The project was shopped around for nearly 8 years before Legendary Pictures acquired the rights for a reboot. Filming began in June 2021 and wrapped under two months later that year in August.
What Is ‘The Toxic Avenger’ Rated?
While the previous incarnation of the reboot was rumored to be eying a PG-13 rating, that will certainly not be the case with Macon Blair’s film.
The film has officially been rated R for “strong violence and gore, language throughout, sexual references and brief graphic nudity.”
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