Bad Bunny out of El Muerto
Latin Times/Marvel, Sony Pictures

MIAMI - Nobody was more excited than Bad Bunny when Sony Pictures announced him as the lead of their superhero movie "El Muerto." The Puerto Rican artist cleared his schedule last year to focus on his incipient acting career.

Benito Ocasio Cortes, his real name, has appeared in two films and a series: "Bullet Train," with Brad Pitt, and "Cassandro," with Gael García Bernal. He also had a small part in "Narcos, México." In all three cases, he interpreted a secondary character. "El Muerto," a spin-off from the "Spider-Man" world, was supposed to be his first starring role.

The substantial buzz generated by the initial announcement at CinemaCon 2022, which saw Bad Bunny taking the stage to reveal his role in "El Muerto," fizzled as the project encountered hurdles due to numerous script revisions.

"El Muerto" died temporarily

By September 2023, it seemed that the movie was as dead as it's title. Asked about "El Muerto" by Variety, Bad Bunny responded: "I don't know what to say," adding that it was a "delicate" issue. His publicist confirmed that the project was "out."

Now it seems that "El Muerto" was scrapped only from El Conejo's calendar. Its removal from Sony's release slate seems to have been temporary. The movie is in it again, with Mexican filmmaker Jonás Cuarón still in the director's chair and Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer's script.

Jeff Gomez, a renowned transmedia producer at Starlight Runner who has been a story consultant for Sony, revealed that the film is back on its production calendar, albeit without the star power of Bad Bunny.

Hopefully the movie will have Latino actors in the lead. It would be a blow to the community to have a repeat of DC's careless treatment of Hispanic fans with the recent decisions about Sasha Calle's Supergirl and Leslie Grace's Batgirl.

Who is 'El Muerto'?

Despite Bad Bunny's exit, Gomez's insights suggest that Sony is fully committed to bringing "El Muerto" to life.

The film's focus on Juan Carlos Estrada Sánchez, a Mexican luchador in a journey imbued with mystical elements and cultural depth, sets it apart from traditional superhero narratives, which gives "El Muerto" an edge to stand out in the overcrowded superhero genre.

The character, a relatively obscure figure in the comic book world who appeared in just two issues in 2006, aligns with the studio's broader strategy of crafting stand-alone comic book films, a move to captivate audiences with individual narratives amid the sprawling and often convoluted cinematic universes that have become the norm. It seems like a good strategy; now we just need a Latino actor to give it life.

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