Seven months after its removal from the release calendar, Sony has resumed development on "El Muerto", the first Latino-led Marvel movie to date.
The project had been initially to star the Puerto Rican sensation Bad Bunny in the title role, but amongst a slew of postponements and delays following the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, the pic lost its star and therefore its place on the calendar.
The movie is currently on the hunt for a new lead.
Mexican screenwriter and filmmaker Jonás Cuarón was set to direct the pic from a script penned by Blue Beetle writer Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer.
In June 2023, Bunny was asked about the status of the pic in the wake of the strikes, 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?
El Muerto/ Juan-Carlos Estrada Sanchez was a super-powered wrestler who originally fought Spider-Man in a charity wrestling match in which he nearly unmasked the webslinger before being stung by Spider-Man with a paralyzing poison. After his oppressor El Dorado came to claim his life, he was saved by Spider-Man, after which the two team up to defeat Dorado.
El Muerto isn’t as popular as Venom or Kraven the Hunter, however, Sony's rushing to get the project into development had a lot to do with Bad Bunny’s persistence in finding that right superhero property for himself.
“El Muerto” is one of several Spider-Man-related spinoffs from Sony. So far, the studio has mined its arsenal of Marvel characters to mixed results. “Venom” and its 2021 sequel “Let There Be Carnage” scored $1.3 billion combined, but neither were critical darlings. Ditto for Jared Leto’s vampire-inspired “Morbius,” which failed to charm audiences and ended its theatrical run with $167 million.
Next, Sony has “Madame Web”, featuring Dakota Johnson, on February 16.