Back in December a strange piece of news came across the wire: Legendary was planning a big budgeted reboot of Troma’s The Toxic Avenger. It seemed like a joke. Either the studio was working under the assumption of cashing in on a film with the word “Avenger” in the title or some exec is a very big fan. Regardless the answer people have been scratching their heads for months, as no real other news cropped up. That at changed yesterday, when Variety announced that a writer and director had been signed to the project. Turns out both positions will be filled by character actor Macon Blair.
For those who may be unfamiliar with Blair (shame on you), he’s steadily carved out a name for himself in the indie realm. He’s worked on each of Jeremy Saulnier’s features (Murder Party, Blue Ruin, Green Room, Hold The Dark). Popped up in big ensemble pieces (Gold, Logan Lucky). As well as made appearances in festival favorites (The Florida Project, Thunder Road). While all that is in front of the camera, he’s written films (Small Crimes), along with directed at least one picture so far (I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore). One, mind you that won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance In 2017. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything in this context, but goes to show he’s been around the block and is surprisingly versatile. Taking a shot at something like this, is very exciting.
What shape a “major studio” Toxic Avenger film takes is anyone’s guess. Yet the fact that there’s even franchise and brand built around the property, is odd enough. When trash cinema gets a Saturday Morning cartoon spin-off, it can easily be molded into anything. It all ultimately depends on who Legendary sees as their target audience. The side that will complain the most, will be the ones who want it to say inherently “weird”. Bringing Blair on to handle the script and direction, shows their thinking outside the box. Now it just comes down to who they cast in the thing. Given that he co-starred in Blair’s directorial debut, we’d love to see Elijah Wood as Melvin Junko. Crossing fingers we here more concrete developments sometime soon.