Who is El Muerto, the Spider-Man Character Bad Bunny Is Playing?

El Muerto is coming to the big screen. Popstar and Latin music icon, Bad Bunny (real name Benito Antonio Martinez Ocasio) has been cast as El Muerto, the title character for the newest addition to Sony’s Spider-Man universe hitting theaters in January 2024.

Over the past several years, Sony has attempted to create its own universe that is separate from the famed characters of the MCU. Starting with Venom in 2018, its sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage in 2021, and the recently released Morbius, Sony is busy creating an array of characters to battle and possibly team up with their most prized character, Spider-Man. With more films on the way, including Kraven the Hunter and Madame Webthe Sony Spider-Man universe is in full swing.

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While characters like Venom and Morbius might not have the star power of other Marvel characters, casting Tom Hardy and Jared Leto In the lead roles helped propel them from famous comic characters to big-screen attractions. This is what makes the announcement of the El Muerto film so fascinating. This will be the first Marvel-based film that centers around a Spanish-speaking hero and the casting of the Latin music superstar over a seasoned actor is a potential gamble for Sony films.

RELATED: Bad Bunny to Star in Sony’s ‘El Muerto’ Marvel Movie

Who is El Muerto?

El Muerto is a minor Spider-Man character who first appeared in Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man comic #6 in 2006. His real name is Juan Carlos Estrada Sanchez and El Muerto translates to “the dead” – a family name that has been passed down from father to son over several generations. However, it is not just the name that gets passed down, it is the power and super strength that comes from the magical mask.

El Muerto comes from a long line of Latin wrestlers known as Luchadors, following the Lucha libra style of professional wrestling that has been a major part of Mexican popular culture for decades.

From Violent Origins

For a young Sanchez, his destiny was pre-ordained. Trained by his father from birth to one day take up the El Muerto mantle, he grew up in the art of fighting. When the time comes for the younger Sanchez to finally take his father’s mask, he meets a mysterious figure named El Dorado who Juan has to fight in order to prove he is worthy of the powerful mask.

However, he refuses to fight out of fear, and his father is forced to come to his defense. This leads to the most traumatic incident in his life, his father’s head being ripped from his body by El Dorado. Clutching his father’s mask, Juan is given a life-changing opportunity by El Dorado. The villain respects his father’s bravery and gives Juan ten years to travel the world and find his courage. After these ten years are over, he is to challenge and fight another masked foe and unmask him (a significant insult in the world of Mexican wrestling). Failure to do so will result in El Dorado ending Juan’s life.

El Muerto and Spider-Man

After saving J.Jonah Jameson and his son from a brutal home invasion, El Muerto aligns with him in order to bring down Spider-Man. Jameson arranges for El Muerto to battle Spider-Man in a charity wrestling event. As the two battle back and forth, El Muerto gets the better of him and attempts to finish him by removing his mask and revealing Spider-Man’s identity as Peter Parker to the world.

As Parker attempts to fight his way out of the clutches of El Muerto, his iron spider suit takes over, and he inadvertently stabs him with a paralyzing poison. This sends the Mexican anti-hero to the hospital where he is met by El Dorado, there to claim the mask and his life after ten years. Feeling an overwhelming amount of guilt, Spider-Man makes his way to the hospital where he is confronted by El Dorado, ready to kill the still paralyzed El Muerto. Eventually, Spider-Man and El Muerto team up to eliminate El Dorado as a threat, creating an uneasy alliance between the two former rivals.

From Comics to Film

Sony’s decision to bring this relatively minor character to the big screen may seem like a curious one when you consider the lack of breadth of the story. However, it is because of this that the move makes sense. El Muerto does not have a rich comic history that will be scrutinized and picked over by hardcore fans. He almost works as a blank canvas for Sony to tell a rich and interesting story focused on a Latino character.

Bad Bunny, while not a polished actor, does bring a life-long love for wrestling and physical experience in the sports entertainment world, having competed at WrestleMania in 2021. With bigger themes possibly to bed like the dynamics of the father/son relationship , the immigrant experience in America, and the historic significance of Lucha Libra wrestling in Mexican culture, El Muerto provides the Sony Spider-verse with a multitude of opportunities.

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