Following a year of rumors about Robert Rodriguez' next directorial choice, the filmmaker has confirmed that he will be shooting the sequels Machete Kills and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For back-to-back this summer.
As additional insurance that Sin City 2 will be arriver sooner than later - the film now has an October 2013 release date - and has been confirmed for 3D.
Empire managed to catch up with (or corner, if you prefer) Rodriguez while he was in attendance at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. The director had some eyebrow-raising information to offer about both the Machete and Sin City sequel - beginning with his promise that A Dame to Kill For will imitate the drawing style of Frank Miller's source material, more than its predecessor:
"I really held back the first time, because I didn’t know whether audiences would go for it. So it ended up looking like a real movie, but in black and white, with a few flourishes. This one is going to push way further towards the books. It’s going to shock and surprise people.”
As stylized as the original Sin City movie is, Rodriguez does have a point. Visually, the flick is more akin to a classic piece of Film Noir (The Maltese Falcon, Touch of Evil, etc.), had it been made using modern-era, digital technology - whereas the black-ink-on-white aesthetic of Miller's comic book(s) is far less photo-realistic, in how it portrays the citizens and monuments that make up Basin City (see below, for case in point).
Rodriguez was otherwise pretty coy about what to expect from A Dame to Kill For (pun intended) during his conversation with Empire. He reiterated the claim made in Dimension Films' recent press release about the film - namely, that some"seriously big names" are being eyed as potentials to join the Sin City 2 cast - but otherwise kept his lips shut about the project.
While Mickey Rourke and Jessica Alba have been officially confirmed for the Sin City sequel, Clive Owen's involvement (or lack thereof) remains up in the air. Rodriguez also wouldn't say anything about who is up to portray the titular femme fatale - only describing the role as "a great part for any actress. She's completely diabolical with no mercy. She's as evil as evil gets."
Angelina Jolie has long been rumored to portray said character (named Ava Lord), but we all know better than to accept a longtime Internet rumor as fact - something that Rodriguez called attention to, when he also offered the following tidbit about the storyline for the Machete sequel:
“That synopsis we put out is misdirection — it’s all fake. Machete is recruited by the President, that’s true, but there’s no cartel leader and the weapon in space is just one of our early story ideas. That said, there is still a space element, for sure. We’ve given the character a much bigger playground. It’s going to be like a James Bond movie, with a Bond-style villain.”
For those not up to speed: the Machete Kills synopsis that's been circulating for the past several months pegged the eponymous ex-federale (Danny Trejo) as heading on down to Mexico, where he would face-off against a drug cartel head - and a maniacal U.S. billionaire (Mel Gibson's presumed role), hell-bent on building a doomsday weapon.
Although Rodriguez' statement suggests that the rumors about Machete heading into space in a third installment aren't true after all, that doesn't mean Gibson won't still be playing the aforementioned villain - who certainly sounds like a baddie right out of a James Bond movie. Once again, Rodriguez was vague about the exact details, but promised that Gibson "won't just be [grinning], doing bad-guy stuff. He’s going to do something with it that’ll really get people talking.”
Much like A Dame to Kill For, Rodriguez' plan with Machete Kills appears to be pretty simple: make it bigger and badder than its predecessor, in terms of sheer star power and body count. The majority of fans seem much more excited for the next Sin City movie than the Machete sequel - but both have the potential to be pretty tasty pieces of pulpy entertainment.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For arrives in theaters around the U.S. on October 4th, 2013.
We will let you know when Machete Kills snags a release date.