Robert Rodriguez is apparently supposed to start shooting (well, continue shooting since he shot a bunch of it as the trailer) MACHETE in a couple weeks and rumors are flying about who is in talks to be in the movie. I didn’t expect or necessarily want an all-star cast, but somebody called The Playlist along with Bloody Disgusting and others are claiming that Robert Deniro, Michelle Rodriguez, Jonah Hill, Lindsay Lohan and Steven Seagal are all in talks and/or signed on. Most promisingly, Entertainment Weekly got a quote out of Seagal’s representation saying they were “awaiting news,” which seems to verify that it’s in the works.
You may remember that I read the script. I’m sure it’s been re-written, and I haven’t had a chance to go back and look at it again, but here’s what I can remember. Deniro would be playing the anti-immigration senator who Machete is hired to assassinate (actually a set-up), as seen in the trailer. He’s a right wing caricature but described as an independent so that Republicans don’t get mad. He’s an asshole but not the real villain, he’s not actually aware of what his adviser (hopefully still Jeff Fahey) is up to.
Michelle Rodriguez’s character, if I remember right, is the woman who sells weapons out of a taco truck. She does alot of ass-kicking in the movie and turns out to be a bigger character than I expected.
Jonah Hill supposedly might play a character called “Julio” who I don’t remember from the script. My guess is that either the rumor is bullshit or they’re adding in a little improv scene for him to do. I think the guy is funny but actually I hope they don’t do that, there was a little too much comedy in the movie as it was. But Rodriguez does get a kick out of white actors playing Hispanic (see Willem Dafoe in ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO) so it could be true.
As for Seagal, I have no idea who he could be playing. There are some mercenaries and Minutemen that Machete fights, but they’re mostly pretty generic thugs without much to do. Of course this would be exciting though. I don’t always like Rodriguez’s movies, but when he’s firing on all cylinders like the MARIACHI movies he can be great. Maybe if they hit it off he’d put together a Seagal vehicle. In my opinion he should hire me to write my idea THE BLUESMAN where Seagal would be a blues-playing samurai and get to play guitar for real throughout the movie, almost like a musical. I figured John Landis should direct it, David Gordon Green was my second choice, but I’d give it to Rodriguez too since he’s a guitar player. They would probaly jam together in between takes.
It would also be cool to see Seagal reunited with Trejo. Trejo was briefly in URBAN JUSTICE but more memorable from the opening of MARKED FOR DEATH. Maybe Trejo could put him in a trunk this time. That would be kind of funny.
You may be wondering why Seagal might be in this but not THE EXPENDABLES. Well, I got no inside info, but I believe Moviehole’s story that Seagal turned down THE EXPENDABLES because of bad blood with producer Avi Lerner of Millennium Pictures. He just recently got away from those guys and they were the ones who tricked him into doing a remake of a Michael Dudikoff movie. So he has to regretfully decline the offer. Too bad.
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.