Los Angeles, CA (May, 2013) –Action superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger (TERMINATOR series, TOTAL RECALL) is in negotiations to star in writer/director Steve Pink’s (HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 1 & 2) big budget action comedy THE TOXIC AVENGER produced by Akiva Goldsman (CONSTANTINE, I AM LEGEND, MR AND MRS SMITH), Richard Saperstein (HANCOCK, 1408, SE7EN), Charlie Corwin (HALF NELSON, THE SQUID AND THE WHALE), Stephen Kessler and Michael Benaroya (LAWLESS, MARGIN CALL). Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz will executive produce. The announcement was made today by International Film Trust’s (IFT) President Ariel Veneziano who will handle all international rights to the film alongside IFT’s Head of Sales Christian de Gallegos.
Set to be introduced to buyers at Cannes 2013, THE TOXIC AVENGER is currently in pre-production and scheduled to start principal photography this fall.
Loosely based on Lloyd Kaufman’s classic Troma franchise, THE TOXIC AVENGER is the tale of a high-school kid who gets dunked in a vat of toxic waste by a corrupt chemical company. He survives the ordeal with one major side effect: upon contact with toxic chemicals, he transforms into a monster with superhuman strength. Schwarzenegger would play “the Exterminator,” a former black ops agent, who trains Toxie to use his powers for good. Together they take on the lurking menace created by the polluters, and the polluters themselves.
“Moviegoers around the world were thrilled when Arnold Schwarzenegger returned to acting so effortlessly filling the gap that he left behind,” said producer and IFT co-founder Michael Benaroya. “He is the ultimate action hero with a natural comedic versatility and will be pitch perfect in The Toxic Avenger.”
“Our film is a perfect combination of commercial genre, star power and award winning filmmakers to set it apart from other titles on offer at Cannes this year. The Toxic Avenger is a blockbuster in waiting with franchise potential. The buyers will love it,” said IFT President Ariel Veneziano.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s role in James Cameron’s THE TERMINATOR series solidified his place as one of the leading action hero actors with roles in blockbuster hits including PREDATOR, TOTAL RECALL, TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY and TRUE LIES. Proving to be a multi-talented performer, Schwarzenegger crossed over into comedic roles with box office hits TWINS opposite Danny DeVito and Ivan Reitman’s KINDERGARTEN COP. After taking an extended break to become the Governor of California, Schwarzenegger returned to acting in 2012 with THE EXPENDABLES 2, which grossed over $300 million worldwide. He will next be seen in Summit Entertainment’s ESCAPE PLAN and Open Road Films’ TEN. He is represented by CAA and Patrick Knapp at Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Felmdman Schenkman & Goodman.
The new sales company, International Film Trust was launched as a joint venture between co-founders Michael Benaroya of Benaroya Pictures and Miscellaneous Entertainment principals D. Todd Shepherd and George Waud to, in part, represent the theatrical feature film productions from the founding company’s own banners on a non-exclusive basis as well as titles from other producers and third party productions. Making its debut at Cannes 2013, the first titles announced on the IFT slate in addition to THE TOXIC AVENGER include:
KING OF THE KASTLE – Written and to be directed by THE SITTER scribes Alessandro Tanaka and Brian Gatewood, Clive Owen will take the lead role in this comedy about a philanderer who is blackmailed by a teenager. Academy Award nominee Jacki Weaver is also attached to star. A Benaroya Pictures production, KING OF THE KASTLE is produced by Jonathan Gordon (SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK) and Michael Benaroya and will start production this fall in Georgia, US.
EXISTS – is IFT’s first acquisition. After an early screening by the producers of the film, IFT outbid several parties to secure international sales rights to this horror thriller directed by Eduardo Sanchez (THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT) and written by Jamie Nash. In post-production, the film follows a group of friends who venture into the remote Texas woods for a party weekend only find themselves stalked by the legendary Bigfoot. Sanchez worked with world renowned creature experts Spectral Motion (PACIFIC RIM, HELLBOY 1&2) to bring the terrifying Bigfoot to life. Shot in Texas at Spiderwood Studios, EXISTS is the second co-production between Court Five and Haxan Films. Producers are Robin Cowie (THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT), Jane Fleming (THE FROZEN GROUND), Mark Ordesky (THE LORD OF THE RINGS), and Andy Jenkins. Executive producers are Reed Frerichs, Gregg Hale, George Waud and D. Todd Shepherd.