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Macon Blair’s Reboot of ‘The Toxic Avenger’ To Debut in September at Fantastic Fest

@The Toxic Avenger

Nearly forty years after the release of The Toxic Avenger, a reboot is scheduled to premiere at Austin’s Fantastic Fest on September 21. Macon Blair will direct the new version, which stars Peter Dinklage in the role of a much-bullied nerdyf janitor who acquires superhero powers after accidentally falling into a vat of toxic waste.

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The original low-budget splatter production was followed by three more films, plus a TV show, a musical, and two video games.
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Dinklage, who plays the starring role of janitor Winston Gooze in the new version, is best known for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones. Blair made his directorial debut in 2017 with I Don’t Feel at Home In This World Anymore. He had also acted in Blue Ruin and Green Room.

The cast of the upcoming reboot includes, in addition to Dinklage, the following actors: Kevin Bacon, Jonny Coyne, Julia Davis, Jane Levy, Sarah Niles, Taylour Paige, Jacob Tremblay, Elijah Wood, and David Yow.

A just-released synopsis by Legendary Entertainment outlines the evolution of the story: “While the original film followed the fate of Melvin Ferd Junko III (Mitch Cohen), who goes from zero to toxic hero in a case of bullying gone awry, Macon Blair’s contemporary take follows a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength all his own. Peter Dinklage stars as downtrodden janitor Winston Gooze who, after falling into a vat of toxic waste, becomes none other than The Toxic Avenger.”

As the synopsis continues: “This timely reimagining is up to its eyeballs in environmental themes as Winston goes up against the evil forces of greed and corruption to save his son, his friends, and his community. Even as this story exists on its own terms, the spirit undoubtedly remains connected to the original.
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The original Toxic Avenger film had been largely ignored until it attracted a cult following as a “midnight movie” in Manhattan’s downtown scene during the mid-1980s.

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Edward Moran
Edward Moran
Edward Moran began his journalistic career many decades ago as a theater and cinema reviewer for Show Business and the New York Theater Review. More recently he contributed film reviews to and Movie Sleuth. His writings have appeared in publications as diverse as the Times Literary Supplement, Publishers Weekly, the Paris Review, and the Massachusetts Review. Moran also edited a memoir by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Christine Choy. He served as literary advisor to her film Hyam Plutzik: American Poet, which was the keynote film in the American Perspectives series at the 2007 Zebra Poetry Film Festival in Berlin.


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