Bad Bunny (aka Benito Ocasio) will play the Marvel character El Muerto – a wrestler with superhuman strength – in a new Spider-Man Universe (SSU) installment, Sony announced overnight.
The film was announced during Sony’s panel at this year’s CinemaCon, with a tentative release date of January 12, 2024. Following the two Venom films and Morbius, as well as Kraven The Hunter (due to hit theaters on January 13, 2023) and Madame Web, it’ll be the fifth film in the SSU – a shared universe of characters related to Marvel’s Spider-Man franchise, for which Sony owns the rights (July 7, 2023).
According to Deadline, Ocasio was cast as El Muerto (aka Juan-Carlos Sanchez) after Sony executives saw footage of him in Bullet Train as an assassin named Wolf.
A similar circumstance led to Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who plays an assassin named Tangerine in Bullet Train, being cast as the titular character in Kraven The Hunter. Bullet Train will be released in theaters on July 29th by Sony.
Ocasio appeared onstage for Sony’s El Muerto announcement, but details of his appearance have yet to surface online due to strict leak rules.
The character first appeared in Issue Six of Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, which was published in May 2006. Sanchez was initially hesitant to take on the mantle of El Muerto, a wrestling persona passed down through generations of his family, but he eventually donned the mask – which grants him enhanced strength and endurance – and challenged Spider-Man to a charity match.
Spider-Man nearly killed El Muerto by poisoning him by accident, but the two would soon team up to battle the villain El Dorado. It’s unclear whether Spider-Man will appear in the upcoming El Muerto film, but Sony has long expressed a desire to incorporate Tom Holland’s version of the web-slinging hero (who exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is only tangentially related to the SSU) into its own burgeoning franchise.
According to Variety, Ocasio’s version of El Muerto will be more in line with the SSU’s other villain-centric stories, with the rapper playing “an antihero on the verge of inheriting his father’s power.”
A third film in the Venom series, following last year’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage, was also announced at Sony’s CinemaCon panel. Despite the fact that the film was confirmed to be in its early stages of development, no title or release date was provided. Sony, on the other hand, showed attendees a brief glimpse of Kraven The Hunter as well as the first 15 minutes of Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse (which is not a part of the SSU).
The animated film was supposed to be released in theaters on October 7, but it has now been pushed back to June 2, 2023. Prior to CinemaCon, the film was officially titled ‘Across The Spider-Verse (Part One),’ with a sequel titled Across The Spider-Verse (Part Two) (Part Two).
The ‘Part One’ and ‘Part Two’ branding has been removed from both, with the sequel to Across The Spider-Verse now titled Spider-Man: Beyond The Spider-Verse and set for March 29, 2024.
Meanwhile, Ocasio announced his sixth album as Bad Bunny, ‘Un Verano Sin Ti,’ last week through an advertisement for a supercar.