Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio aka Bad Bunny participated in WWE’s Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania in 2021 and tapped into his acting skills for Netflix’s Narcos:Mexico and his upcoming debut film, Bullet Train. Now he’s combining both interests with his upcoming role as comic book antihero, el Muerto. During Cinemacon in Las Vegas last night, Sony Motion Pictures Group president Sanford Panitch introduced Bad Bunny as the first ever Latino actor to headline a live-action Marvel movie. El Muerto is also the first Latino character to lead a Marvel film and it made an appearance in the Spider-Man comic book.
“It’s amazing. it’s incredible. I love wrestling. I grew up watching it and now I’m a wrestler,” Bad Bunny said during a surprise appearance, Entertainment Weekly reported. “This is why I love this character. I think it’s the perfect role to me, it will be epic.”
Marvel’s description of the character includes: “The powers and mask of the super powered wrestler el Muerto have been passed down generation to generation. Each wrestler had to prove themselves to their oppressor, el Dorado, so that they could remain alive and keep their powers. When Marcus Estrada presented his son Juan Carlos to el Dorado, Juan Carlos cowered in terror, unwilling to fight him. Marcus Estrada sacrificed his life to try and save Juan Carlos. Out of respect for his father’s courage, el Dorado granted Juan Carlos ten years to travel and to become brave, and then to duel a masked wrestler and unmask him.”
A decade later el Muerto travels to New York City and works with J.Jonah Jameson to set up a wresting match with Spider-Man. During the match el Muerto nearly unmasks Spider-man so he stabs el Muerto with his stingers injecting him with a poison that paralyzes him. He then rescues el Muerto in the hospital when el Dorado comes after him and they team up to defeat el Dorado but he escapes.
This historic role comes after the emergence of more Latinx actors either playing super heroes or portraying Latinx super heroes. Recently we saw live-action Latinx superhero characters including Salma Hayek’s Ajak in Eternals and Xochitl Gomez’s America Chavez. Blue Beetle, a Mexican American character, will be the first Latino superhero to appear in an upcoming DC superhero movie while Colombian actress Sasha Calle is first Latina to play Supergirl in DC Universe. El Muerto is being released through Sony, so EW reported it can’t recognize it as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The studio recently released Venom starring Tom Hardy and Morbius starring Jared Leto and announced Madame Web, the first female character from the Spider-Man universe to get her own film set to star Dakota Johnson. For the Puerto Rican reggaetonero this is a dream come true and for the Latinx community it’s cause for celebration seeing a Latino actor playing a major character in a historic role.
El Muerto is set to hit theaters on Jan. 12, 2024.