The first ever live-action depiction of El Muerto, a character that only appeared in Spider-Man issues twice, was announced last year in April 2022, to have its own stand-alone film which will be a spin-off of Marvel’s Spider-Man by Sony Pictures. With the announcement of the film also came the announcement that the popular Puerto Rican singer Bad Bunny (born Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio) will star as the lead cast.
This decision to cast Bad Bunny as El Muerto came after seeing Bunny’s mind-blowing performance in Brad Pitt’s 2022 film Bullet Train. Following Bunny’s performance, Sony Pictures began making plans to star Bunny in a film centered around him. After much deliberation, it was concluded that El Muerto would be the best fit for the rapper.
Sony Pictures Pulled El Muerto‘s Release Date From Their Calendar
The film which would have been the first-ever Latino-led superhero film by Marvel was originally scheduled to be released early next year on January 12, 2024. However, it will no longer be so. On Wednesday, June 21, Deadline reported that Bunny the lead actor will no longer star in the project and that Sony Pictures have in turn pulled out El Muerto‘s release date from their list of upcoming movies.
It was said that the musician’s schedule is currently jam-packed with his tours coupled with his commitment to the WWE company so, there’s no room for a filming schedule for now. Also, the writers’ strike is not helping matters with the release date. In an interview with Rolling Stone which was released on Friday, July 21, the Mi Porto Bonito singer said,
“Before 2022 was over, I said in an interview, ‘2023 is going to be for me, to rest, to work on my physical health, on my mental health, to have my space, to enjoy, to be happy.’ And then 2023 starts with cabroneria.”-Bad Bunny, Rolling Stone Interview-
Although there is no talk about scrapping the movie entirely, there are talks about the role being recast. As Bunny will no longer feature in the film, it is uncertain if he will remain its executive producer, or not.
About The Character, El Muerto
El Muerto is the name of a mystical mask of power bestowed upon a line of Luchadors from the Estrado family, generations ago by a self-proclaimed wrestling god known as El Dorado. The mask which is said to grant its owner superhuman strength, endurance, speed and some other abilities has been passed on from one Estrado generation down to another. And, in order to retain the mask in the family, each generation had to fight El Dorado for it.
Things were done repeatedly in that order until it got to the family of Juan-Carlos Estrada Sánchez. All through Juan-Carlos’ life, his father Marcus Estrada de la Garcia who mask bearer at the time, trained and prepared him for the inevitable battle with El Dorado.
Unfortunately, Juan-Carlos never wanted any part in fighting the self-proclaimed god, so, when the day finally came for young Juan-Carlos to prove himself, he bailed. Fearing that El Dorado would harm his son for failing to fall in line, Marcus offered himself instead.
After killing Marcus, El Dorado passed on the mask to Juan-Carlos out of respect for what Marcus did. However, he gave Juan-Carlos the grace of ten years to train himself and find another masked champion to defeat and unmask publicly as a price for his cowardice.
With vengeance in his heart over his father’s killer, Juan-Carlos now El Muerto spent his ten years grace training and touring the world until he became a professional wrestler both in ring and outside the ring with his skills and with the help of the El Muerto mask.
Juan-Carlos went on to travel to New York, and after saving a father and son from a thief, they showed their gratitude by organizing a televised, million-dollar-charity wrestling match between him and Spider-Man. That match would have been one in which Juan-Carlos would redeem himself and bring back honor to the Estrado name but unfortunately, he lost to Spider-Man.
The match between El Muerto and Spider-Man ended with El Muerto severely injured. While Juan-Carlos was in the hospital, it happened that his decade grace was up and an angry El Dorado went to New York to destroy Juan-Carlos for failing to unmask Spider-Man.
But then, Spider-Man came to El Muerto’s rescue and together they teamed up to fight El Dorado. After Spider-Man used an acidic solution (aqua regia) capable which he concocted to punch through El Dorado’s mystical gold armor which prevents him from being defeated, El Dorado fled.
In the absence of Bad Bunny, who do you think will portray the role of El Muerto the best? Share your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media. Keep following the Illuminerdi for more Marvel content like this, we’re always watching.