It’s been five days since promo posters appeared online for Robert Rodriguez sequels Sin City: A Dame To Kill For and Machete Kills, and today the director arrived in Cannes to talk up the two projects. Sitting down with Empire on a hotel rooftop, clad head to toe in black, he let slip some details about the two films, which will shoot back-to-back (starting with Machete) later this summer.
He promises that Sin City 2 will be even more super-stylised than the original, hewing closer to the look of Frank Miller’s graphic novels. “I really held back the first time, because I didn’t know whether audiences would go for it. So it ended up looking like a real movie, but in black and white, with a few flourishes. This one is going to push way further towards the books. It’s going to shock and surprise people.”
Mickey Rourke and Jessica Alba are confirmed to return, but Rodriguez won’t be drawn on other casting, except to say that he’ll be meeting some “seriously big names” in LA over the next fortnight. (A correction to an earlier version of this article: Clive Owen's return, or otherwise, has not yet been announced.)
Fans have speculated for years that Ava Lord, the dame of the title and ultimate femme fatale, will be played by Angelina Jolie. That may or may not turn out to be true. “It’s a great part for any actress,” is all the director will say. “She’s completely diabolical with no mercy. She’s as evil as evil gets.”
On Machete 2, Rodriguez says not to believe what you’ve read online. “That synopsis we put out is misdirection — it’s all fake. Machete is recruited by the President, that’s true, but there’s no cartel leader and the weapon in space is just one of our early story ideas. That said, there is still a space element, for sure. We’ve given the character a much bigger playground. It’s going to be like a James Bond movie, with a Bond-style villain.”
That villain, of course, will be played by Mel Gibson, whom Rodriguez has known for years. “Mel’s just a badass,” Rodriguez grins. “We have the same attorney and we’ve talked over the years about stuff we’re making. This won’t just be him grinning, doing bad-guy stuff. He’s going to do something with it that’ll really get people talking.”
Dr. No meets Gibbo? This could get weird…
For more on Sin City 2 and Machete Kills, check out future issues of Empire.