Singer and rapper Bad Bunny has had a meteoric rise to international fame, but he is swinging to all new heights by joining the Marvel universe as a Spider-Man villain. Bad Bunny is the latest star to be cast as an obscure side character in one of Sony Pictures' spinoff movies. According to a report by Deadline, he will play the super-powered wrestler El Muerto in an upcoming movie.
El Muerto is a Mexican wrestler from a long hereditary line of other heroes to hold that mantle and do battle with a mystical evil force. Bad Bunny will play the comics character Juan-Carlos Estrada Sanchez who inherited the power in Marvel Comics over a decade ago. In the story, Juan-Carlos is hesitant to accept the power from his father and he fails the test, but his father sacrifices his life to give him the mantle of El Muerto anyway. In the years that follow, Juan-Carlos is fighting to legitimize himself, and in the process, he becomes a rival of Spider-Man.
This is a major project for Sony and Marvel Studios, as El Muerto will be the first Latino superhero to make it to the big screen. He also joins Sony's growing slate of obscure Spider-Man spinoffs including the two Venom movies and this month's controversial Morbius movie. Sony also has plans for a Madame Web movie and a Kraven the Hunter movie.
Bad Bunny's meteoric rise to fame is also a huge asset to this project. The singer has shattered records in the music industry in the last few years and has won a Latin Grammy along the way. He will make his movie debut in July in the action film Bullet Train, so it makes sense that Sony was eager to lock him down for a bigger franchise.
Still, fans of the comic book source material have already cracked jokes on social media about the obscurity of this pick. El Muerto was first introduced in 2006 and does not have the history or brand recognition of Sony's other offshoots. In the comics, each time the mask and powers of El Muerto are passed to a new generation the wielder must have a ritual wrestling match with El Dorado. When Juan Carlos tried to refuse, El Dorado tried to kill him. His father sacrificed his life to save Juan-Carlos, granting him a 10-year reprieve to get stronger.
In the comics, Juan-Carlos then travels the world looking for the strength he needs and winds up in New York City challenging Spider-Man to a wrestling match. Spider-Man is caught off guard by El Muerto's strength and is unexpectedly unmasked. Spider-Man accidentally paralyzed El Muerto with a stinger in his suit, and while the wrestler was out El Dorado returned for their belated challenge. At that point, Spider-Man and El Muerto had to reluctantly work together to take him down.
How this story will be adapted in a movie without Spider-Man himself making an appearance is anyone's guess. It's also not clear when El Muerto will go into production or when we might see it for ourselves. Regardless, fans of Marvel Comics and Bad Bunny are overjoyed.