Director Robert Rodriguez has cast Charlie Sheen as the President of the United States in Machete Kills. The hiring of the Anger Management star is the latest in the long-line of curious casting choices that the director has made for the Machete franchise. This new move sees the sitcom star join Lethal Weapon hero Mel Gibson in the film, which started shooting earlier this month.
Machete Kills stars Danny Trejo as the titular Machete, who is hired by the US government to stop a crazed arms dealer, Luther Voz, from launching a weapon into space. Gibson will play Voz in the film, which will also star Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Amber Heard, Sofía Vergara and Demián Bichir.
The casting of Sheen as the US President is an interesting decision, as his father Martin famously played the role in Aaron Sorkin’s hit series The West Wing, as well as playing John F. Kennedy in the 1983 mini-series, Kennedy. It would seem that screen politics runs through Sheen's veins – much like tiger blood.
The eclectic cast for Machete Kills mirrors that of the original Machete from 2010. Trejo shared the screen with the unlikely combination of Oscar-winner Robert De Niro, action man Steven Seagal, troubled actress Lindsay Lohan and '80s legend Don Johnson. The Grindhouse spin-off grossed $44 million at the worldwide box office, and while that may not sound like a massive hit, it had a production budget of just $10.5 million - a number which led to a healthy profit.
While some may accuse Rodriguez of stunt casting, others will be of the opinion that he’s giving tarnished stars another chance to shine. Sheen and Mel Gibson may be tabloid darlings, but they can also pull out a good performance when given the chance to bring their goods to the table. Don Johnson was able to parlay his Machete part into a role in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, while De Niro and Seagal received some good reviews for their performances in the B-movie pastiche.
Charlie Sheen started his career in the '80s starring in a string of successful films including Platoon, Wall Street and Major League. He kicked-off the 1990s with Clint Eastwood’s The Rookie, Navy Seals and Hot Shots!, before his career took a downward turn, which saw him move into the straight-to-video market. He then progressed to television where he replaced Michael J. Fox in Spin City, before taking the lead in the hit sitcom Two and a Half Men. However, his role in that show came to a shuddering halt last year following some well-publicised personal troubles. He appears to have things back on track with his new show Anger Management airing on FX starting June 28th.
Machete Kills was already a must-see movie due to Mel Gibson’s turn as the villain, but it now has the added dimension of having Charlie Sheen playing the most powerful man in the world. Stop for a moment and ponder that thought.
Keep reading Screen Rant for all developments regarding Machete Kills - which should hit theaters some time in 2013.