Those of you who were pleased to hear that Robert Rodriguez was finally preparing to begin work on Sin City 2... well, it turns out the Texan filmmaker's attention has shifted elsewhere, yet again.
Rodriguez is instead moving ahead next with Machete Kills, a sequel to his 2010 feature-length adaptation of the popular Grindhouse faux trailer, Machete. Production on the pulpy flick is expected to get underway by April 2012, with Danny Trejo currently in talks to reprise his role as the titular deadly ex-Federale. Most of the surviving cast members from the first film are likewise expected to return in the Machete followup.
At the 2011 Comic-Con, Rodriguez revealed that two sequels to Machete - titled Machete Kills and Machete Kills Again in Space (no joke) - had already been greenlit, so this announcement isn't entirely unexpected. Still, with word circulating last fall that Oscar-winner William Monahan was putting the final touches on the shooting script for a Sin City sequel, the latter appeared more likely to happen next. C'est la vie, we guess...
Deadline has confirmed that financing is already in place for Machete Kills, which is based on a story idea co-developed by R. Rodriguez and his brother/frequent producer, Marcel. The screenplay is being penned by up-and-comer Kyle Ward, who's also worked on the scripts for the in-limbo Kane & Lynch video game adaptation, along with the impending Arabian Nights project that has Dwayne Johnson and Liam Hemsworth attached to star.
R. Rodriguez previously claimed that the trailer for the third Machete flick will be attached to Machete Kills... and will feature Trejo's alter ego wielding a lightsaber-esque version of his trademark weapon (again, no joke) as he goes up against a diabolical villain, who's developing a world-devestating space arsenal.
So, for those of you who were wondering how Rodriguez could possibly top the sheer ridiculousness of the first Machete movie... well, there you go.
Here is how Deadline describes the plot of Machete Kills:
The new film finds Machete recruited by the U.S. Government for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man. 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. Machete takes on an army in an effort to dismantle a plan for global anarchy.
It sounds as though Machete Kills and Machete Kills Again in Space are essentially going to be two halves of a single narrative, similar to both the Matrix and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo sequels. Don't be surprised if news about Rodriguez shooting the films back-to-back leaks out in the future - partly for that reason, but also because such an approach would be in keeping with the director's "lean and clean" independent moviemaking style.
More than that, Rodriguez is really going all-out on embracing the over-the-top, tongue firmly in cheek nature of Machete's B-movie predecessors with these sequels, delving even further into the realm of intentional self-parody, as classic exploitation cinema tended to do.
Machete Kills also appears set to drop many of the political overtones - or, rather, the "Mexploitation" angle, if you will - of the original film. Seeing how many moviegoers felt that the attempts at social commentary in the original Machete were not only distracting, but also as hammy and ludicrous as... well, the movie itself, this news should go over well enough.
We will keep you updated on the status of Machete Kills as more information is released.