Sony Pictures has cast Puerto Rican reggaeton superstar Bad Bunny as El Muerto, the first Latinx superhero to lead a live-action Marvel film. But some Marvel fans are skeptical of the studio giant’s approach to the project.
The Los Angeles Times confirmed Tuesday that the beloved Latin trap artist and wrestling aficionado will play Juan-Carlos Estrada Sanchez, aka El Muerto, a masked Mexican wrestler who inherits superhuman strength from his powerful ancestors. His casting was announced Monday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.
“It’s amazing. It’s incredible. I love wrestling. I grew up watching it, and now I’m a wrestler,” Bad Bunny told the CinemaCon crowd, according to Entertainment Weekly.
“This is why I love this character. … It’s the perfect role to me. It will be epic.”
In the comic books, El Muerto is associated with Spider-Man, Sony’s most bankable Marvel character. However, he shows up in only two volumes of the “Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man” saga, leading many to wonder why Sony would give him the live-action treatment over more popular Latinx characters — such as Spider-Man 2099 or Miles Morales, the young web slinger at the heart of the animated “Spider-Verse” movies.
“This character has appeared in two issues, sixteen years ago,” one person tweeted. “Sony, be honest, you’re messing with us on purpose right?”
“This is hilarious on like subatomic levels,” wrote Eric Francisco, senior entertainment reporter at Inverse. “The character doesn’t even have a proper Wikipedia page.”
Others rejoiced at the idea of Bad Bunny entering the Marvel universe.
“Say what?!?! Omg so here for Bad Bunny joining the Spiderverse,” one person tweeted.
“Bad Bunny is really having a moment and I’m into it,” wrote another.
Bad Bunny is the latest Latinx performer to be cast as a Marvel hero, following the recent Marvel debuts of Salma Hayek as Ajak and Lauren Ridloff as Makkari in “Eternals,” as well as Oscar Isaac as Moon Knight in the Disney+ series of the same name. Next month, Xochitl Gomez will make her first appearance as America Chavez in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”
Previously, Bad Bunny guest-starred in the third season of “Narcos: Mexico” as Arturo “Kitty” Paez, a member of Ramón Arellano Félix’s gang. And in July, the Grammy winner will grace the big screen in the action thriller “Bullet Train,” also starring Brad Pitt, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Zazie Beetz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Joey King.
According to Deadline, the “A Tu Merced” hitmaker is additionally set to appear in the forthcoming film “American Sole” opposite Pete Davidson, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Camila Mendes and Offset.
Prior to landing the role of El Muerto, Bad Bunny already began chasing his wrestling dreams by rumbling with the pros at last year’s WWE Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.
“El Muerto” is slated to hit theaters Jan. 12, 2024.