Mel Gibson is in negotiations to join Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills, a sequel to the bombastic 2010 action thriller about a disgraced Mexican ex-federale with a bad attitude, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
It has not been a good month for the former Hollywood A-lister. Gibson's latest acting project, Get the Gringo, was released straight to view-on-demand in the US after failing to secure a theatrical run, and he was accused of derailing a planned film about a famous 2nd-century BC Jewish revolt for antisemitic reasons by screenwriter Joe Eszterhas. Nevertheless, Rodriguez seems to think Gibson is the man for his latest venture, which he plans to direct himself prior to taking on a sequel to 2005's Sin City.
"Currently I am directing [Machete Kills]," said Rodriguez, who co-directed the first film with Ethan Maniquis after conceiving the character for a fake trailer as part of his Grindhouse project with Quentin Tarantino. "But we're checking to see if there's going to be the need for another director if I have to go off and do Sin City. I wasn't sure what the timing on Sin City was or if I would have to step off to do Sin City at a certain point, depending on when Machete went. But Machete looks like it's going to go pretty quickly so it's possible that I will direct the whole thing.
"It's so subjective I feel like I really need to get in there and do it," he added. "It's just a lot of fun; it's a really cool concept, and I think it takes it to another level in a way that's compelling for me to go and do it myself."
According to an official synopsis, the new film finds Machete (once again played by Danny Trejo) recruited by the US government for a mission that "would be impossible for any mortal man". The synopsis adds: "He must battle his way through Mexico to take down a madman cartel leader and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war across the planet with a weapon in space. Machete takes on an army in an effort to dismantle a plan for global anarchy."
As well as Gibson, Rodriguez is said to want Oscar nominee Michelle Williams for a role. The first Machete film took $44m (£27m) worldwide on a meagre $10m budget and was relatively well-received by critics. Rodriguez eventually plans a third instalment with the fabulous title Machete Kills Again … in Space.