Mel Gibson in talks for Machete Kills

Fresh from his rather public dispute with Basic Instinct screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, former Hollywood A-lister Mel Gibson is back in the news, and this time – shock – it’s got absolutely nothing to do with his rather troubled private life. According to Deadline, the Lethal Weapon star is currently in negotiations to join Danny Trejo in the cast of Robert Rodriguez’s action sequel Machete Kills, which is set to begin this summer. Machete cast members expected to return for the second outing include Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez, while the director has also expressed an interest in casting Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn) for an as-yet-unspecified role.

According to the official synopsis, Machete Kills will see Trejo’s former Mexican Federale “battling his way through Mexico to take down a madman cartel leader and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war across the planet with a weapon in space.” Although there’s no word yet on Gibson’s potential role, much like Robert De Niro’s casting in the 2010 original, you’d have to suspect it to be one of the two bad guys (most likely the arms dealer).

In addition to Machete Kills, Rodriguez is also working on the long-in-development Sin City sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, with Mickey Roarke and Rosario Dawson so far confirmed as returning. Unlike the original Machete (which was co-directed with Ethan Maniquis), Rodriguez plans to shoot both sequels himself, schedule permitting:

“We’re checking to see if there’s going to be the need for another director [on Machete Kills] if I have to go off and do Sin City,” Rodriguez recently told THR. “I wasn’t sure what the timing on Sin City was or if I would have to step off to do Sin City at a certain point, depending on when Machete went… There’s so much of it that I want to direct I’ll probably end up directing the whole thing, but if I have to step off, I’m going to try and shoot all of the actors and all of the main sequences. But it’s such a fun movie, and it just came out even more fun than I could have imagined.”

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