- “El Muerto” was set to be a Spider-Man movie focusing on a lesser-known, minor villain, which received mixed reception upon its announcement.
- The film’s development suffered setbacks and eventually stalled, leading to its removal from Sony Pictures’ 2024 release schedule.
- Bad Bunny, who was initially cast as El Muerto, celebrated the film’s supposed release month with a music video featuring a cameo from Spider-Man, indicating his somewhat fandom for the character.
A Spider-Man movie titled El Muerto was supposed to be released in the second week of January 2024; here is everything to know about the film including its period of development hell. El Muerto was initially set to be the first Marvel movie releasing in 2024 as part of Sony’s Spider-Man Universe. Following on from the likes of Venom, Morbius, and 2024’s Madame Web and Kraven the Hunter, El Muerto was set to be another upcoming Spider-Man-adjacent movie centering on one of the Web-Slinger’s less-iconic Marvel Comics side characters.
Even more so than the other films of Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, El Muerto was met with mixed reception upon its announcement. Where the likes of Venom and the upcoming Kraven the Hunter story are at least based on some of Spider-Man’s more infamous villains, the character of El Muerto is largely unknown with only those incredibly familiar with Peter Parker’s comic book rogues gallery aware of his existence. As such, the film’s planned development began to stall shortly after it was announced meaning it missed the January 2024 release date Sony had slated for El Muerto.
El Muerto: Release Date, Cast & Everything We Know
El Muerto is one of the many Spider-Man anti-heroes and a Mexican wrestler, and reggaeton musician Bad Bunny will play the superhero in a Sony movie.
What Was El Muerto?
El Muerto is another failed villain-centric movie in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe.
Concerning what exactly El Muerto is, it is admittedly difficult to pin down. The reason for this comes from the minimal information Sony Pictures has released about the project since its announcement. The announcement in question came in April 2022 at Sony’s CinemaCon panel where El Muerto was confirmed as part of the shared universe that houses Venom, Morbius, and the other upcoming Sony-produced Spider-Man films. At the CinemaCon panel, Bad Bunny made a surprise appearance to confirm that he would portray the titular El Muerto after Sony was impressed with the musician’s performance in Bullet Train.
The film was set to be based on the minor Spider-Man villain El Muerto, a Latin-American wrestler who gains superhuman powers by wearing the titular mask and becoming the next in a long line of El Muertos
As alluded to previously, this announcement was met with a mixed response given the sheer unpopularity of the character. The film was set to be based on the minor Spider-Man villain El Muerto, a Latin-American wrestler who gains superhuman powers by wearing a mask passed down through generations, thus becoming the next in a long line of El Muertos. The character’s conflict with Spider-Man comes from El Muerto’s desire not to fight as a wrestler against another supernatural sportsman named El Dorado, whose lifelong goal is to sever the line of El Muerto’s family from the mask that grants them their powers.
After refusing to fight El Dorado, the villain takes the life of El Muerto’s father and gives the latter 10 years to defeat and unmask another fighter in order to save his own life. El Muerto chooses Spider-Man, coming into brief conflict with the iconic Marvel Web-Slinger. As such, this bare-bones premise was set to be the story of the Sony Spider-Man Universe film, with Bad Bunny portraying El Muerto in his quest against Spider-Man.
A premise was never officially announced for El Muerto, yet the extremely limited Marvel Comics appearances of the character mean this story was the only reasonable possibility for the film’s events.
El Muerto’s Development Hell Explained
El Muerto’s development stalled shortly after the film was first announced in 2022.
The April 2022 announcement of El Muerto was backed up hastily by Sony, with the studio announcing Jonás Cuarón and Garreth Dunnet-Alcocer to direct and write the film respectively in October 2022. This made it seem as though El Muerto would be fast-tracked to its January 2024 release date, though in March 2023 Bad Bunny’s publicist confirmed that the film was at a standstill in an interview with TIME. After more months of uncertainty, it grew evermore unlikely that El Muerto would meet its prospected January 2024 release date.
This was confirmed when Sony pulled El Muerto from its release schedule in June 2023. This decision was taken in response to Bad Bunny’s busy shooting schedule alongside the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes of 2023. Only a month later in July 2023, it was announced that Bad Bunny had departed the project meaning El Muerto was without an actor for its titular character. Since then, little has been mentioned concerning El Muerto by Sony as the studio is pivoting towards confirmed movies like Venom 3, Madame Web, and Kraven the Hunter.
How Bad Bunny Celebrated El Muerto’s “Release Month”
Bad Bunny celebrated El Muerto’s initial release month in his own unique way.
Despite Bad Bunny not being attached to El Muerto as of July 2023, the rapper still celebrated the initial release month of January 2024 in an interesting fashion. On January 1, 2024, the music video for Bad Bunny’s latest song – ‘NO ME QUIERO CASAR’ – was released. In the video, the musician can be seen falling from a building only to be saved by Spider-Man donning the suit worn in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man.
This cameo from Spider-Man in Bad Bunny’s recent music video is a fun Easter egg to the character. Above all else, it proves that Bad Bunny is at least a fan of Spider-Man in some ways which makes sense given the close connections between Peter Parker and El Muerto that would likely have been found in the latter’s movie. However, this reference remains simply that and makes it slightly more bittersweet that El Muerto will likely never be released after missing its January 12, 2024, release date in favor of more well-known Spider-Man villains getting the spotlight.