Who is El Muerto? Details around star of Marvel and Sony Pictures new ‘Spider-Man’ spin-off
Sony Pictures new film slate has included a live-action version of Marvel Comics character El Muerto, who will be portrayed by Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, also known as Bad Bunny.
El Muerto, aka Juan-Carlos Sanchez, made his debut in Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #6 from 2006, making him a relatively new entry into the Marvel canon. Created by Peter David and Roger Cruz for the comic run, El Muerto appeared just twice as a main character in Marvel’s Earth-616 timeline, the primary universe in which the Marvel Universe takes place.
Having been first published in a Spider-Man comic, El Muerto falls under Sony Pictures’ jurisdiction for feature films.
Sanchez was raised by his father, who was one of the many legendary El Muerto masked wrestlers, a lineage of Mexican luchadores aided by a magical mask. Part of his coming-of-age was to fight fellow wrestler El Dorado, but Sanchez refused, triggering El Dorado to attack the young man. Sanchez’s father defended him but paid the price when he was killed by El Dorado’s hand.
Following ten years of training, Sanchez finally takes up the El Muerto title and challenges Spider-Man to fight. Spider-Man unknowingly poisoned El Muerto with a stinger, paralyzing the wrestler. Rushed to the hospital by Spider-Man, El Muerto is defended from a bloodthirsty El Dorado by the webslinger.
With the powers imbued from his mystical mask, El Muerto is capable of lifting up to 30 tons, making him roughly as strong as Avengers member Captain Marvel, the cosmic Adam Warlock, and fellow Sony Pictures universe character Carnage.
Without the mask El Muerto is roughly average real-world wrestler strong. The wrestler nature of El Muerto harkens back to Spider-Man’s wrestling origins as the Human Spider in the comic books and Sam Raimi’s trilogy of Spider-Man films.
El Muerto has only made two major appearances in Marvel’s main 616 continuity, which is his aforementioned origin story. Speculation would suggest that this storyline will be what the upcoming film is based on, considering its his only foray in the world of print. Otherwise, he’s been a background character referenced here and there during the comic book Civil War event from 2006.
Outside of comics, El Muerto has yet to appear anywhere. When he takes to the screen in 2024, it’ll be a completely clean slate for Sony Pictures to work with.
Who is playing him?
El Muerto will be brought to the big screen by Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, best known by his stage name Bad Bunny. Becoming the first Latin American to headline a superhero film, the Grammy award-winning musician will be milestone man.
Bad Bunny is known for his love of wrestling, having previously graced the WWE, where he competed multiple times. His acting career is in its infancy, with his biggest role so far starring in Sony Pictures’ upcoming Bullet Train alongside Brad Pitt. Ocasio’s only other credits are Narcos: Mexico and a brief appearance in Fast and Furious 9.