Report: Seagal “awesome” in MACHETE

seagal-macheteHarry has an interview with Robert Rodriguez about MACHETE and some swordfighting cartoon he’s gonna remake in his greenscreen warehouse. Of course my favorite part is this comment about Seagal in MACHETE:

“Seagal was so awesome we kept expanding his role on the set. The big final battle is Machete vs. Seagal and it’s amazing.”

I was hoping this would be the case. The script I read had Seagal’s character only in two scenes, but they were crucial ones. I’m also happy to hear Rodriguez refer to the character as a “Mexican drug lord.” I knew he’d take advantage of Seagal’s talent for rolling his Rs (see, for example, how he pronounces “Geraldo” in HARD TO KILL).

The interview also makes vague reference to controversy over the trailer’s glorification of illegal immigrants. I don’t know if any media people have really tried to make an issue out of it, but it’s funny if they have because I requested that in my script review over a year ago, saying, “By the way, Machete is portrayed as a mythical protector of illegal immigrants. I hope somebody on Fox News gets riled up about that. This whole thing where we laugh every time they say ‘teabagging’ can’t last forever, they’re gonna need some new material.”

More good Rodriguez news: I forget where, but somewhere I just read an interview that said there was only one greenscreen shot in PREDATORS.

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53 Responses to “Report: Seagal “awesome” in MACHETE”

  1. I’m no Seagalogist, but if (spoiler alert for those who didn’t read the linked interview) the ending fight is between Machete and Seagal, it would follow that Seagal would lose the fight. Would that not be a first?

  2. Almost. In the Korean movie CLEMENTINE he plays a champion who fights the hero at the end, and I believe he loses. In HARD TO KILL he’s put in a coma for 7 years, but it’s a home invasion situation and not a straight up martial arts duel. In HALF PAST DEAD he’s killed by a heart attack, but only for a little bit. In EXECUTIVE DECISION he’s defeated by the power of suction.

    But yes, I think it’s fair to say it will be a historic first for Seagal. Good call.

  3. Very good call. I dare say this fight has to be something special though for Seagal to lose. Can’t wait. Almost makes up for his lack of appearance in “The Expendables”.
    Tried to get the Danny Trejo doc “Champion” but it is quite expensive in the UK, even on Amazon. Is it worth buying? One review states it’s shoddily made and another tells me it’s a great story of a reformed man.

  4. Now Trejo can revenge his death in Marked for Death.

  5. i really can’t wait to hear seagal’s accent in this. i hope he goes for it!

  6. Defeated by the power of suction, hahaha

  7. Everything I keep hearing about Machete has me stoked. Hopefully it will make a ka-jillion dollars so A & E will finally greenlight season 2 of Steven Seagal: Lawman.

  8. I just wonder what Machete will mean for Seagal’s career. I doubt that he will get any starring roles in big budget theatrical action movies after it (seriously, do you know anybody besides Travolta whose career was really revived by starring in an independent movie?) and I’m 100% sure that the Razzie jury has already wrote his name one a “worst supporting actor” award, even if he rn out to be really awesome, but will he continue with his DTV action movies? Will he probably get more interesting roles in untypical movies? Will he pop up in almost every Rodriguez movie from now on? Time will tell…

  9. I lived for over a decade under the belief that Seagal lost the main faight with Carl Weathers in Action Jackson. I saw Above the Law & Marked for Death in the video shops and thought the martial arts villian from Action Jackson was following that same path as Norris starting as the bad guy and coming up, though wondered about the conceit of this effeminate man who thought he was going to join the ranks of Stallone, Norris and Schwarzenegger. Obviously this news demonstrates that he was doing a Norris after all, just in reverse order.

    And obviously I finally gave him a try and rented Above the Law and figured he was not too bad, for a homosexual anyways.

  10. Or, maybe he actually wins against Trejo yet loses in a dramatically shocking turnaround? (Kind of like Death vs. McClane in Die Hard 2?)

  11. Jareth Cutestory

    May 20th, 2010 at 6:48 am

    CJ Holden: A buddy of mine insists that it isn’t MACHETE that will influence Seagal’s future career, but rather the success of EXPENDABLES. According to my buddy, if old school action films starring older men become profitable, Seagal will be at the top of the list for a sequel or knockoff.

    He likened Seagal’s participation in MACHETE to Robert Forster’s in JACKIE BROWN; apparently too few directors are able to grasp the unique qualities of each actor and build a sympathetic film around them.

  12. Kevin Holsinger

    May 20th, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Good morning, Vern and all.

    Michelle Malkin, who’s a pretty big rightwing Internet personality, and one of those people whose favorite subjects is illegal immigration, did in fact chime in on Machete:


  13. Im looking forward to watching Seagal (and Dolph in The Expendables) on the big screen again. The closest thing we will get to see Van Damme on the big screen in the near future is hearing him in Kung Fu Panda 2.
    Anyway, i loved the trailer for this and Seagal looked great in the few seconds we saw of him. I hope he wont use too much of his stunt double in this film since it’s gonna be a big release and a lot more people than usual will see him fight again.

  14. Kevin Holsinger

    May 20th, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Here’s what I found looking for “fox news machete” on YouTube…


    Though I think this is Fox’ “comedy” program, not one of their news-programs.

  15. Jareth,

    I buy it. Aging badasses have become hip and ironical, and Seagal is a prime example along with Norris, Stallone and Arnold.

    Stallone is doing Expendables, Norris is being a right-wing freak and Arnold is being the governor of California. That leaves Steven. It’s time for the revival era, a Seagalian renaissance that catapults him back into theatrical starring roles.

    But what role, what story to bring him back to life? A Death Wish/Harry Brown sort of revenge tale? We’ve seen Seagal do it before, but not as an old, grizzled bastard (ok, I guess we’ve seen that too, but only in relatively crappy DTV flicks). A supervillain, perhaps? It could be perfect, with this whole (alleged) human trafficking thing.

  16. I’m absolutely jazzed about seeing SS on the big screen again.

    As much as I’m wanting The Expendables to be amazing…….I’ve a feeling this will be moreso.

    I’ll be seeing this in the theater once a week for it’s entire release.

  17. Now I’m picturing Seagal in all of Craig T. Nelson’s roles. COACH would have been a lot different.

  18. Jareth Cutestory

    May 20th, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Bob Vila: Considering how well Charlie Sheen and David Duchovney have done by braiding their real-life problems to their television work, and the success they’ve had in rehabilitating their reputations in the process, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if someone was working on a human trafficking script for Seagal as we speak.

    But even if they avoid the whole human trafficking thing, I think that Seagal will really benefit from working with a director who gets his quirks, like Rodriguez. I’m not sure that Stallone would get him in the same way. Verhoeven, maybe, but not Stallone.

  19. Jareth Cutestory

    May 20th, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Majestyk: Coach Seagal would have been great at finding holes in the defence of the opposing teams.

    Also, Jerry Van Dyke would have been thrown through a window every epsiode.

  20. And let’s not even talk about what he would have done to that crazy poltergeist who had the nerve to come into his home and mess with his family.

  21. Jareth Cutestory

    May 20th, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Out of respect for the work of the proprietor of this web sight, I’m not going to be the guy who re-writes the speech from ON DEADLY GROUND, substituting ecology references for ghost references.

  22. Jareth Cutestory

    May 20th, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Hey Majestyk, remember a while ago when you told us that you’d sincerely like to see a DIE HARD movie
    set in a retirement home? Well check this out:


    There’s also a weak Seagal fat joke poster in there.

  23. I really would love to see Seagal in a good comedic role. And I mean not the lame self-parodistic stuff we know from people like Adam West or William Shatner pre-Denny Crane. A really good comedy role. He doesn’t have to totally break with his image, though. I mean he could still play the “straight man”. Damn, I wish he would have been in “Scrubs”. They even found some great roles for Brendan Fraser and Colin Farrell! Or “Arrested Development”, although then the possibility of him playing himself and making fun of his career would have been way too high (At least the possibility that these jokes would have been funny is also very high! Just think of Carl Weathers!).

  24. Oh man, that is so funny. Bruce Willis has definitely gotten older since the first Die Hard. How astute of them to notice. Where do they come up with this stuff?

  25. CJ- I think it’s safe to say that Mickey Rourke also got a boost from an independent movie. Of course, that was after already doing really good roles in a couple of Robert Rodriguez movies. So maybe what really needs to happen here is Seagal doing an Aranofsky movie.

  26. Yeah, I’m not sure about Rourke. I considered to name him too, but I remember that after he got already lots of buzz for “Spun”, it took again several years for him to re-boot his career with “The Wrestler”. (And I wasn’t sure if that one was an independent film.)
    But y’know, most of the time when you get attention in these kind of movies, you usually are stuck with them (not necessarily a bad thing) or have to do cameos and walk on parts in horrible c-movies, while getting top billing on the DVD covers (Think Sid Haig or David Carradine).

  27. Jareth Cutestory

    May 20th, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Majestyk: They really didn’t over-exert themselves with your original concept, did they? Maybe we should be grateful that they spared us a Lindsay Lohan porn poster.

    CJ Holden: I think the genius of Weathers’ appearances on ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT was how single-minded yet not blantantly obvious they made his determination to find good bargains. He was still charming and a bit threatening.

    Seagal could have played the Wayne Jarvis role on ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT with entirely different results. I think I prefer John Michael Higgins, but Seagal could have done it. He could have also played a less silly Gene Parmesan. Or even Tony Wonder. Larry Mittleman would have been an obvious choice for Seagal, but I can’t imagine him coming close to Bob Einstein in that role.

    Seagal’s J. Walter Weatherman would have been a treat. “And that’s why you always leave a note.”

  28. I just pissed myself by from laughing by imaging Seagal as J. Walter Weatherman. Seriously. It’s all wet.

  29. Jareth Cutestory

    May 20th, 2010 at 10:56 am

    I love the guy they got to play J. Walter Weatherman, but Seagal would have been really special. And legitimately scary.

  30. “Oh man, that is so funny. Bruce Willis has definitely gotten older since the first Die Hard. How astute of them to notice.”

    Not to mention that AIRPLANE 2 used this gag more than 25 years ago:


  31. Can’t wait for this or Hobo With A Shotgun. Hopefully these two movies can wash the bad taste out of people’s mouths left by DeathProof and we get a real resurgence of pulpy grindhouse type films.

    And I didn’t really dislike DeathProof I just meant the financial failure aspect that probably keeps studios from greenlighting similar films.

  32. Kevin Holsinger – I like how some NeoCons are knee-jerk pissy over a B-exploitation movie. Hilarious.

  33. RRA – one definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result each time. (Think comics books, videogames, white bread, and the waltz.) This is why the definition of sufferers of “insanity” should be stretched to include political parties and commercial organizations as well as individuals.

  34. Just in case there is somebody here who is knowledgable on the subject – when was the last time Seagal was in a worldwide theatrically released film?

    The “fake” trailer makes it look like Seagal is some random stooge who Machete knocks off in an incidental fight, so I’m glad that’s not the case.

    I actually think his stoic expressionlessness will be well suited to villainy. Look at the still Vern posted. He looks like a good villain. Resolved, focussed on the job at hand, maybe a little vain…

  35. Anaru, the last one was Half Past Dead. They should have sent that one straight to video and let Exit Wounds be Seagal’s last big theatrical release. Hell, I don’t even like Exit Wounds all that much, but it still would have been a better send-off.

  36. Is the weight issue off-limits? Because it’s all I can think of when I look at that photo. It’s hard to ignore, especially when a guy is known primarily for his physical prowess.

    It’s not that Seagal doesn’t have a presence. He’s still got the glare and the voice. Maybe it’s time he graduated to “big evil boss” roles; you know, behind a desk, in a dark room. He could steeple his fingers and say “take care of it.”

  37. “As a lifetime practitioner of evil, I require that you take care of this little problem”

  38. seagal should play the kingpin in the new spidey movies, after all, hes fat and bald and scary.

  39. Sabreman – i think machete losing the fight and seagal being defeated by a dramatic turnaround is probably unlikely in this picture. in fact, i think it is very unlikely that seagal won’t end this movie without either being impaled or dismembered by… i dunno… some kind of sharp object, like a weapon… maybe a balde-like thing… something good for hacking through jungle underbrush… what am i searching for here… ?

  40. should say ” …it is very unlikely that seagal WILL end this movie… “

  41. People who knock Seagal for being fat have obviously never seen Sammo Hung fighting. Just because you are overweight, it doesn’t necessarily makes you a bad fighter.

  42. “Just because you are overweight, it doesn’t necessarily makes you a bad fighter.” No, it just makes you look like a fatass. But, you know, appearances aren’t really important in motion pictures.

    Do you suppose Timothy Olyphant can shoot the head off a nail in real life? Raise your hand if you care.

    But he sure looks right in that hat…

  43. Where is his pride, man? I guess that’s the part I just don’t get. Look at the photo — he looks like he’s trying to get out of the way of his own chin.

    If anyone reading this is overweight, I’m not trying to be mean or offensive. I’m also guessing you’re not a movie star. Or a former movie star turned reality TV actor sheriff , or whatever. You probably don’t have a nutritionist and a chef and a trainer, and you probably don’t make your living by having your picture taken.

    And I don’t even watch his films, so it’s not like it bothers me to see my former hero gone to pot. Like when you realize how old X looks and it rubs your nose in your mortality — “Jesus, when did Harrison Ford get OLD? How DARE he remind me that it’s not 1983?”

    I just honestly don’t get how you wake up huge one day, especially when you have the time and money and inclination to keep in shape. People gain weight — especially in the USA, but probably all over — because shitty food is pushed on them since birth, they were never educated properly regarding nutrition, and they have to work long hours and eat crap out of vending machines or from fast food restaurants. I understand that.

    But as a martial artist, I’d almost think you’d have to make a special effort to court a coronary like that. It genuinely mystifies me, is what I’m saying.

  44. One Guy From Andromeda

    May 21st, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    i see.

  45. If anything, I think Seagal will be a much better villain than he ever was a hero. As a good guy he’s just sort of sleazy and vain, but obviously that’s no problem for a heavy (sorry, had to say it).

  46. The great appeal of SS through or in spite of the weight issue is simple. Older guys like me (57) who were physically fit – martial arts, jogging, fitness training – back in the day and who still feel physically vibrant (mostly inside) see their fantasies of who they feel they are played out in Seagal’s movies. In other words he does what we think about silently and would never do (because it’s either antisocial or criminal) or fantasize doing…

  47. What was that… a conversation stopper?

  48. Hi Vern, not sure where might have been a more appropriate thread for posting this, but as some of these fellers were talking of the possibilities of Steven Seagal in a comedic role have you seen the Orange mobile phone company advert we have here in England, where Seagal parodies himself ?
    They have several ads, where big-name actors like Danny Glover, Juliette Lewis, Emilio Estevez, er…Macauley Culkin… and some others play themselves and the suits from Orange try to wedge loads of product placement into the actor’s latest filmatistic effort.
    The Seagal one is particularly funny as the suits chase him round a golf course in them little buggys, it goes… (actually I don’t want to spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it).
    I guess you can probably download it off the internetwork but I just saw it at the cinema.
    If you have seen it, how’s about a review ?

  49. Sorry I’m at work so I couldn’t go on YouTube to find a link, or check what your link links to…if it’s advertising Orange, has Steven Seagal being chased round a golf course that must be it (unless they made a seaquel)…

    Cheers RRA !

  50. haha, lindsey is so out of control! i cannot believe she’s going back to rehab!

  51. I can’t believe she’s still alive.

  52. Boy oh boy. Just seen this thread. I’ll cut to responding to the original point, if nobody objects: look, I like Rodriguez as a director, and to the best of my recollection I’ve never seen a film of his that I disliked. But surely NOBODY who’s seen it could think the Trejo-Seagal fight is up to par, especially on this site. At no point in it was I ever convinced the blows / cuts were actually being thrown, or that it was really Seagal and Trejo themselves. I honestly think it was one of Seagal’s worst career fights, and that includes most of the stuff from his DTV era. Hell, there were avid-fart-ridden messes in “Against the Dark” that looked more real than “Machete”‘s finale did.

    Plus there’s the point that, with the exception of the very first scene of the movie, Seagal’s character has appeared so little that having him as the final guy Trejo must face is somewhat anticlimactic. Look, I just bought a giant box-set of Seagal’s films, nobody could accuse me of being a hater. But he does nothing in this film. Jeff Fahey has about twenty times the charisma and at least three times the screen time that Seagal has.

    What I guess I’m saying is that when you have someone like Seagal in your movie, you take proper advantage of that fact. To me, the parts of “Machete” that worked the best were those involving Michelle Rodriguez and Trejo; while the bits that largely didn’t work – or at least didn’t work as well – involved Jessica Alba, Robert De Niro, and Steven Seagal. I don’t think it’s De Niro’s fault or Seagal’s fault (although it most definitely is Alba’s fault, she couldn’t carry a badass role), I just think they weren’t given enough to do.

    I mean, damn me, if you have Jake La Motta or Casey Rybeck in your movie, you damn well gotta use them like they deserve to be used.

    Also, going back to some of the earlier comments: what the fuck did Colin Farrell do to get poked fun at? Yeah, I thought he looked like he’d just suffered a mild concussion in “The Recruit” as well. But he’s been consistently excellent in just about everything else I’ve seen him in. Why’s he getting stick?

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