Rodriguez Finds Financing for 'Machete Kills'; Warners Renews First-Look Deal with 'Hangover' Director Todd Phillips

Rodriguez Finds Financing for 'Machete Kills'; Warners Renews First-Look Deal with 'Hangover' Director Todd Phillips

Feb 07, 2012

Machete posterLots of news about movies in development today – and none of them are remakes! How amazing is that?

Robert Rodriguez is prepping the big screen return of Mexican killing machine Machete in the imaginatively titled sequel, Machete Kills. If you love truth in advertising, it doesn’t get much better than that.

The Desperado filmmaker tells Deadline that he’s secured funding for the next installment in the series – a follow-up to the surprise 2009 hit. That film featured Danny Trejo as the title character, who’s hired to assassinate a corrupt senator. Lots of over-the-top mayhem ensued as Machete went on to earn roughly $45 million at the domestic box office.

Trejo’s return to the series seems likely, and talks between Rodriguez and the actor are currently underway. The filmmaker also says that he expects many of the first film’s survivors will return for the sequel.

The goal this time out appears to be to up the stakes as much as possible – which means the plot finds Machete sent to fight his way through an army in order to kill a cartel kingpin and an arms dealer bent on starting global war with some sort of space weapon. Sounds about right to us.

Rodriguez and crew are eyeing an April start date, although no director has been officially announced.

-- Meanwhile, over at Warner Bros., news is that the studio has renewed their first-look deal with The Hangover director Todd Phillips. Seems like the obvious move, given that Phillips has made more than $1.2 billion for the studio over the past few years.

Phillips’ Green Hat shingle is currently hard at work on The Hangover 3, but has several projects in development for the future. Here’s a brief rundown of their slate:

First up is an as yet untitled adaptation of Anthony D’Souza’s novel Mule. The story is about a young couple struggling through the recession, so they turn to drug dealing to make ends meet. The film is in the early stages of development and is currently out to writers according to Deadline.

Million Dollar Strong is a project based on the YouTube and Funny or Die videos by Mike O’Connell and Ken Jeong. No word on how this might be expanded into a feature, but Phillips is set to produce with O’Connell and Peter Kline writing the script. Given Jeong’s ties to The Hangover, it wouldn’t surprise us if this one eventually got made.

Arms and the Dudes takes its inspiration from a Rolling Stone article about “the unlikely rise of two stoners in Miami Beach who became big-time arms dealers and suddenly had it all taken away by the Pentagon.” This one sounds intriguing. Stoner arms dealers? We can already see a million jokes.

Finally, there’s The Island. Plot details on this project are being kept secret, but we do know the screenplay is being written by Due Date’s Adam Sztykiel.

While we don’t know that any of these films will ever get made, Warner Bros. deal with Phillips and Green Hat will give the studio first crack at each of them.

Categories: News, In Development
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