"Where the movie will go next? I have a bunch of ideas for it. It's all in the end titles. We have to make them, of course, 'Machete Kills' and 'Machete Kills Again.' Once you put it out there, just like we did with the trailer, you have to make it," Robert Rodriguez said in the summer of 2010 when doing press rounds for "Machete." And last year at Comic-Con, in the batch of titles Rodriguez announced was on his plate, his promised two sequels to "Machete" were on the list. So you can't say any of this was a surprise.
Indeed, they are happening, as Deadline reports that Rodriguez and producer Alexander Rodnyansky are teaming up to bring "Machete Kills" to the big screen, with filming to begin in April. A script is already in place by Kyle Ward ("Kane & Lynch" and a handful of other films sitting in development), Marcel Rodriguez ("The Adventures Of Sharkboy & Lavagirl In 3D") and Robert Rodriguez, and this time the "bigger and more ambitious" story will find Machete hired by the U.S. government to head into Mexico to take down a cartel leader and madman billionaire, who plan to launch a weapon into space. We presume this will set the stage for "Machete In Space."
What's not yet clear in Deadline's report is if Rodriguez himself will direct or if he'll take a producer role and hand the reins to someone else (it seems to be leaning in that direction), but either way, he's clearly deeply involved. Obviously, Danny Trejo will be back with the surviving cast members likely to reprise their roles as well. And this is moving fast, with an April start date being eyed. While the first film wasn't a blockbuster by any stretch, the hard-R rated film managed over $40 million worldwide on a $10 million budget, so a followup with the same parameters makes sense. And with the Latin market only becoming more lucrative (it's not just for laffs that Will Ferrell is doing "Casa De Mi Padre"), it's a smart play.
Of course, this now leaves "Sin City 2" -- which has been teased to start this year -- still up in the air. And it's also curious to note that this announcement comes a few days after "Machete" co-director Ethan Maniquis was named in a lawsuit, suing the filmmakers for ripping off the idea from another writer. Perhaps it's not a shock his name is absent from this film altogether.
Either way, the original "Machete" split our staff, some of whom embraced the B-movie aesthetic, while others thought the intentional so-bad-its-good aesthetic didn't quite work. The first film was packed with lots of random cameos and surprises, so we'll see who Rodriguez and co. line up this time.