Arnold Schwarzenegger in Talks to Star in Toxic Avenger

Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Toxic Avenger

It’s been announced that Arnold Schwarzenegger in in negotiations to star in in writer/director Steve Pink’s big budget action comedy THE TOXIC AVENGER produced by Akiva Goldsman.

The announcement was made today by International Film Trust’s (IFT) President Ariel Veneziano who will be handling all the international rights to the film alongside IFT’s Head of Sales Christian de Gallegos.

The concept is set to be introduced to buyers at Cannes 2013 this week. THE TOXIC AVENGER is currently in pre-production and scheduled to start principal photography this fall.

The Toxic Avenger is Loosely based on Lloyd Kaufman’s classic Troma franchise. It 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 incident but 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 the Toxic Avenger on how to use his powers for good. Together they take on the lurking menace created by the polluters, and the polluters themselves.

Producer and co-founder of IFT Michael Benaroya said,“Moviegoers around the world were thrilled when Arnold Schwarzenegger returned to acting so effortlessly filling the gap that he left behind. He is the ultimate action hero with a natural comedic versatility and will be pitch perfect in The Toxic Avenger.”

IFT President Ariel Veneziano added, “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.”

Considering the public’s reaction to Arnold’s “comeback” film, Jee-Woon Kim’s The Last Stand it stands to reason that IFT in basing their film on Kaufman’s Troma franchise makes sense. Since the cult favourite Troma series has historically been low budget affairs, if Arnie can’t help in putting ‘bums’ on theatre seats, the company won’t stand to lose so much.

The Last Stand bombed in the US. The film was supposed to herald an action-hero comeback for Schwarzenegger, 65, who was seeking to join peers Sylvester Stallone, Liam Neeson and Bruce Willis as Hollywood’s apparently ageless wonders.

Instead, it has turned into a debate on whether the ex- Californian Governer can recover from personal scandal and a longtime absence from the silver screen. The film’s received reviews and grossed a lowly $7.2 million gross over the long Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend finishing in 10th-place against other films that opened that weekend. This poor start on Arnold’s comeback film now puts big pressure on his upcoming projects.

It could be argued that his egocentric autobiography, Total Recall didn’t help the fim or Schwarzenegger’s standing with the public, although with only having sold a measly 21,000 copies in its first week when it was released October last year. It could also be because woman aren’t too pleased with Arnie’s separation fromm Maria Shriver and his autobiographical confessions of cheating on her the entire time that they were married.

If the negotiations fall through it appears that Schwarzenegger has enough offers of work to tide him over, not least of which is the rumour of another Terminator.

By Michael Smith

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