Photo: Robert Rodriguez
Robert Rodriguez has been filming Latino movies by his own rules for more than 20 years, a formula with which he is having more fun than ever with his new production “Machete Kills” and which he plans to power up with his own television channel, El Rey Network.
“I want to keep giving Latinos the chance to work both in front of and behind the cameras, and to create content through my network,” the 45-year-old moviemaker told Efe. “These newcomers should be able show what they can do without depending on Hollywood, where it’s really hard to get started,” he said.
The writer of films like “El Mariachi,” “Desperado,” the kiddie saga “Spy Kids” and “Sin City” - whose sequel will debut next summer - premieres this Saturday the sequel of “Machete,” which was such a success that it took its own creator by surprise.
While for the original film Rodriguez worked with such headliners as Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Steven Seagal and Lindsay Lohan, this time he’s going all out by adding to the cast Lady Gaga, Mel Gibson, Sofia Vergara, Demian Bichir, Charlie Sheen, Antonio Banderas and more.
“The idea of a Latino action superhero in a ‘Mexploitation’ film - with a low budget and elements of exploitation film and Mexican culture - was overwhelming. I thought it would go directly to a DVD but it unexpectedly took off,” he said.
Danny Trejo, 69, repeats his role as Hollywood’s first Latino superhero, a one-time federal agent recruited by the president of the United States to nab a revolutionary and an arms dealer who have joined forces to plunge the world into chaos.
“I didn’t have a lot of time, but the screenplay was such fun I wanted to make it mine before shooting ‘Sin City 2.’ I did it really fast, in 29 days. I wanted to have a good time with the actors,” the filmmaker said, who doesn’t hesitate to combine wild humor and violence whatever the critics might say.
Rodriguez promised that if the movie is a hit, he’ll shoot a third version: “Machete Kills Again… In Space!”