Following earlier, albeit at the time seemingly fanciful reports, that director Robert Rodriguez was hoping to snag Mel Gibson and Michelle Williams for the sequel to his Grindhouse faux-trailer-turned feature film, Machete, it now sounds as though Gibson is actually very interested in the project.
While there's no update on Williams, at least not yet, we're now getting word that Gibson is in negotiations for an unspecified role in the Danny Trejo-starring movie, titled Machete Kills.
Deadline has the full report which claims that "Gibson is now in serious discussions to play a supporting role." While the write-up doesn't confirm which role Rodriguez and Gibson are discussing - it makes sense that, if you're going to get Mel Gibson for your picture, you don't just sit him on the sidelines. Remember, in our prior report, Rodriguez' interest in Gibson and Williams was tantamount to fantasy casting - meaning that the filmmaker was looking to fill key Machete 2 roles.
Details on the project have been pretty slim so far - with little more than an official synopsis and casting rumors trickling online - so it's impossible to be sure at this point what role Gibson will have in the proceedings. That said, taking into consideration the film's synopsis, it's likely that the veteran actor will play the role of "an eccentric billionaire arms dealer" - with a similar function as Robert De Niro's work in the original Machete.
From the film's synopsis:
Machete must battle his way through Mexico to take down a madman cartel leader and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war across the planet with a weapon in space.
Whatever role Gibson takes in Machete Kills, it's likely that the character won't be too far out of the actor's wheelhouse - so don't expect to see him in a lot of hands-to-hand conflict. That said, given that Machete 3 is rumored to take the blade-wielding anti-hero into Earth's orbit, it's certainly possible that, with the "weapon in space" aspect of the Machete 2 plot, Rodriguez could actually be setting Gibson up for a recurring role in the franchise.
Rodriguez has been making headlines lately, following confirmation that Sin City 2 is currently in production - with both Mickey Rourke and Rosario Dawson set to return (among others no doubt). How exactly the high-profile comic book adaptation will affect production on the smaller-budget/niche grindhouse-like Machete sequel appears to still be up in the air - as, according to a report from THR, Rodriguez is still attached to direct though he is, no doubt, under a lot of pressure and time constraints to get Sin City 2 underway:
“There’s so much of it that I want to direct I’ll probably end up directing the whole thing. But if I have to step off [to start work on Sin city 2], I’m going to try and shoot all of the actors and all of the main sequences. But it’s such a fun movie, and it just came out even more fun than I could have imagined [...] I feel like I really need to do it. It’s so subjective I feel like I really need to get in there and do it. It’s just a lot of fun; it’s a really cool concept, and I think it takes it to another level in a way that’s compelling for me to go and do it myself."
As previously reported, Rodriguez long-expected Machete Kills to be his next picture - even after a Sin City 2 production was rumored to be en route. At this point, it's hard to know what percentage of the Machete sequel Rodriguez will actually shoot but, considering the film is a passion project for the director coupled with an overall smaller production, it's likely that the fan-favorite director will actually get to be pretty hands-on - even with a tentpole comic adaptation hanging over his head.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates on Machete Kills as well as other movie, TV, and gaming news.
Machete Kills is set to begin shooting soon with Sin City 2 following close behind.