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'El Muerto' Back in Development at Sony — Without Bad Bunny
BY CHRIS MCPHERSON
Seven months on from its removal from the release calendar, Sony has quietly resumed the development process for El Muerto, the first Latino-led Marvel film to date. The project had been slated to star the Puerto Rican sensation Bad Bunny in the title role, but amongst a spate of postponements and delays following the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, the film lost its star and, therefore, its place on the calendar. However, Variety, in a feature piece about the Sony films based around licensed Marvel characters, has revealed that work on the film has once again resumed with a hunt for a new star back on the agenda.
The film was set to be directed by Mexican screenwriter and filmmaker Jonás Cuarón, with the script penned by Blue Beetle writer Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer. In June last year, Bunny was asked about the status of the film in the wake of the strikes when speaking to Vanity Fair, to which he replied that he "didn't know what to say", adding that the situation was "delicate," before a publicist later informed the outlet that he was off the project.
Cuarón made his directorial debut with 2007's romantic drama Año uña, which he also wrote and produced, and also co-wrote the Oscar-winning Gravity alongside his father Alfonso Cuarón. Following this, he co-wrote and directed the thriller Desierto in 2015, starring Werewolf by Night's Gael García Bernal and The Walking Dead's Jeffrey Dean Morgan. It remains to be seen if Cuarón remains on board.
Who Is El Muerto?
Comic strip of El Muerto fighting Spider-ManImage Via Marvel Comics
El Muerto, in the Marvel Comics, is a character known as Juan-Carlos Estrada Sanchez. He is part of a long line of luchadors (wrestlers) who inherit a special mask that grants them superhuman strength and other powers. The character's story is rooted in the world of professional wrestling, combined with the fantastical elements of superhero narratives. Bad Bunny was considered an ideal star for the film, not in small part thanks to his immensely high profile as one of the best-selling artists in the world, but also due to his experience in the world of professional wrestling with WWE, where he was renowned for being one of the most outstanding "celebrity wrestlers" seen in the company.
In the comics, El Muerto faces various wrestling opponents and embarks on adventures that blend the high-energy, dramatic world of luchador wrestling with the super-powered action typical of Marvel stories. The character of El Muerto provides a unique cultural perspective within the Marvel Universe, particularly highlighting aspects of Mexican wrestling culture and folklore.