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Why Did Kevin Smith Turn Down The Toxic Avenger Remake?

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As strange as it may sound, I have not actually seen Troma’s The Toxic Avenger. I know, I know. Maybe I’ll do an entry of The Overlook’d on it.

All the same, I know the character very well and have heard many rumblings over the years about a remake in the works.

Speaking of which, it seems as if the producers of said remake went to writer-director Kevin Smith in the hopes he would take on their (relatively) big-budget reboot.

Smith recently talked a bit about the deal on a recent episode of his podcast “Fatman on Batman” and even spoke about why he eventually walked away from the project.

“… somebody asked me, ‘Hey man, we’ve got The Toxic Avenger and we’re gonna remake it, do a reboot, and hey, you’re from Jersey.'” Smith says. “And you know, I always kind of dug what Lloyd Kaufman and the Troma people do… So I was like, all right, I’ll go down the rabbit hole a bit…”

I guess being from Jersey makes enough sense for the producers to zero in on Smith. But why did he walk away from the film?

“…we parted ways fundamentally on the budget,” Smith continues. “Because I was just like, ‘Part of the charm of the TOXIC AVENGER is that it was made for two nickels. If you’re gonna do it again, don’t spend a lot of money.’ But they were like, ‘No no no, it’s a 35 million dollar movie.’ And I was like, ‘It’s a f*ckin’ remake of THE TOXIC AVENGER, the guy in a tutu with a bad makeup job, what are we gonna spend all the money on?’ So right then and there, I’m clearly not on the same page. In my head, if I need to see a TOXIC AVENGER remake, it should be done in the spirit of the original. Instead, they were literally trying to start a franchise, Marvel-ize it and stuff like that. And I’m like, ‘I don’t know if you guys saw that movie.’ So I just quietly stepped away. I understand what they were going for, but I would never want to see that version of the movie. It would be like somebody doing a 35 million dollar version of CLERKS. Why would you bother?”

Fair enough, Mr. Smith.

Personally, I wouldn’t have a problem with a $35 million dollar version of The Toxic Avenger. But, again, I haven’t (yet) had the pleasure of checking out the original.

Which I promise I will do asap!

Until we have further news on The Toxic Avenger remake, you can check out the original film’s trailer below. Enjoy!

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