Danny "Machete" Trejo has revealed that Robert Rodriguez will start shooting the sequel to his Grindhouse trailer-turned-movie, Machete Kills, in about three weeks (from the time of writing this).
In addition to Trejo returning as Machete Cortez, Mel Gibson is onboard as the film's James Bond-style villain. Machete Kills will also pack a whole lot of girl-power - as the cast includes returning players Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez, along with series newcomers Amber Heard and Sofia Vergara.
During a recent interview with Moviehole, Trejo announced more than just the planned start date for shooting on the Machete sequel; he also let loose the news that fan-fave starlet Zoe Saldana (Avatar, Star Trek) is yet another lovely lady who will show up in Machete Kills. Trejo held off on dropping any specific character or plot details about the project, other than to say the film "is going to be more over-the-top" than its predecessor (which is saying something).
Robert Rodriguez recently announced that the current circulating plot synopsis for Machete Kills largely serves as misdirection - but that the sequel does indeed see the eponymous ex-federale recruited by the U.S. government to handle a matter of national security. How exactly all the aforementioned actresses fit into that storyline remains a mystery - though, Trejo has confirmed that (with the possible exception of Heard) he gets to kiss all of them. (Lucky bum...)
The original Machete was a sizable critical hit that managed to quadruple its $10 million budget at the global box office. Obviously, though, it's not the potential financial rewards that've attracted so many big names to Machete Kills; rather, it's the opportunity to work outside the Hollywood system, in collaboration with a fast-and-efficient filmmaker like Rodriguez, on a project that truly deserves to be called a contemporary exploitation flick.
If nothing else, the Machete sequel will allow its cast to have fun hamming it up, which should make for good guilty-pleasure entertainment (in theory). Hopefully, the film will be a better showcase of Saldana's tough-chick acting chops than last year's Colombiana - while also making better use of Vergara and Michelle Rodriguez' talents than some of their more recent projects (The Three Stooges and Battle Los Angeles, respectively).
We will let you know when Machete Kills snags an official theatrical release date (most likely, in 2013).