EXCLUSIVE: Sausage Party co-director Conrad Vernon has been set to helm The Toxic Avenger, the live-action remake of the signature schlock franchise launched years ago by Troma. This version is a more grounded and mainstream telling of the story, and it’s set up at Bob Cooper and Richard Saperstein’s Storyscape Entertainment. Saperstein is producing with Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road and Charlie Corwin. Mike Arnold and Chris Poole, the duo behind Archer and The Grackle, are on board to rewrite the screenplay by Steve Pink and D.C. Mitchell. Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz of Troma Films, creators of the original franchise, will executive produce along with Cooper and Alex Schwartz of Storyscape Entertainment, and Greg Lessans of Weed Road.
Storyscape has Maudie premiering at Toronto tonight in the Special Presentations category. The film, directed by Aisling Walsh, stars Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke and it debuts here after playing at Telluride. Storyscape separately has the Michael Fassbender-attached Entering Hades at Broad Green, the Benedict Cumberbatch-starrer The War Magician at StudioCanal, FBI Wedding at Universal with Jason Bateman starring and directing, and is producing with Colin Trevorrow Stealing Time at Amblin Partners.
Toxic Avenger is a re-imagining of Troma’s cult classic, which tells the story of a New Jersey teenager whose accidental tumble into a vat of toxic waste turns him into a mutant superhero. The disruption evident in the raucous R-rated sleeper hit Sausage Party will propel a new franchise play here.
“Conrad Vernon is a subversive comedic genius. He is the perfect director to bring this iconoclastic franchise back to life,” Saperstein said.
Said Vernon: “The opportunity to re-imagine a favorite cult-classic from my high school years is an honor. Toxie is an underground icon. My favorite kind.” Vernon is represented by UTA, Mosaic, and Todd Stern. Arnold and Poole are repped by UTA, Principato-Young, and Stone, Genow, Smelkinson.
Other executive producers include Shara Kay, Armen Aghaeian, Steve Kessler, Holly Kobzina,Dave Mendez, Edward Mokhtarian, Geno Tazioli, Steve Pink and Mike Wilkins.