El Muerto will be the latest moniker for the man they call Bad Bunny. Yes, Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio (aka San Benito) is getting his own slice of the comic book movie world, in a Sony Pictures film based on the Marvel character. So, yes, that makes El Muerto both a Sony movie and an upcoming Marvel movie, just not an MCU movie. Think of it like Venom and Morbius.
But why el Muerto? And why the heck is Bad Bunny — one of the biggest musicians in the world — taking on this role? Well, the good news is that the more we look at el Muerto the character and Bad Bunny, the more this all makes sense.
El Muerto, if you're not aware, is a pro wrestler whose power is his superhuman strength. And much like many pro wrestlers, the name and powers of el Muerto have been passed down through generations. And, yes, he's actually encountered, fought and worked with Spider-Man.
El Muerto release date
At CinemaCon 2022 (opens in new tab), Sony exec Sanford Panitch announced that El Muerto would hit theaters on January 12, 2024. That means it comes out half a year after Madame Web (July 7, 2023).
This puts El Muerto in the 2022-to-2026 window of Sony and Disney Plus' deal and its Netflix deal as well. Basically, El Muerto will arrive on Netflix after the paid video-on-demand window, and then hit Disney Plus after that.
This film is apparently been in a somewhat-rushed development, as Bad Bunny had told Sony that he really wanted to find the right comic book character for himself. According to Deadline (opens in new tab), Benito was the one who suggested el Muerto, after Sony was pleased with his performance in the upcoming action movie Bullet Train.
Who is El Muerto?
El Muerto's super-strength has been, according to Marvel (opens in new tab), passed down through generations via a wrestling mask. And each el Muerto has had to earn their safety and powers through fighting the evil el Dorado.
The biggest generational gap for the el Muerto powers came when Marcus Estrada brought his son Juan Carlos to el Dorado who wasn't ready. Marcus then sacrificed himself to protect Juan Carlos. This act earned Juan Carlos 10 years time to prepare himself for the fight for his powers — and the mission was simple: he has to fight a masked wrestler and unmask him.
El Muerto makes sense for Bad Bunny
Bad Bunny is, if you're not familiar, a massive fan of professional wrestling. He's even wrestled for WWE on multiple occasions, including in a featured match at WrestleMania 37. There, Benito showed off his skills developed through training, and impressed fans (and likely some doubters too).
When Bad Bunny's casting was announced, he appeared to say "This is the perfect role to me. It will be epic to me." This role also makes him the first Latino actor to lead a live-action Marvel film.
El Muerto's connections to Spider-Man
In the comics, at the end of of the ten years that el Dorado gave Juan Carlos, he was seen in New York City looking to work with J. Jonah Jameson to set up a charity event featuring a match between himself and Spider-Man. Both Juan Carlos and Jameson hoped that el Muerto would unmask Spider-Man.
But that didn't happen, right as el Muerto was about to rip Spider-Man's mask off, Spider-Man stunk him with a poison. El Dorado would soon come to claim Juan Carlos' life, but Spider-Man arrived and helped el Muerto defeat el Dorado.