Danny Trejo is one of the most instantly recognizable and prolific actors in the business, and even at 76 years old he shows no signs of slowing down, having appeared in no less than 32 movies since 2017 alone. Although he largely operates in the straight-to-video realm, you’ll often find him in the most unexpected of places as his recent voice role in the live-action Dora the Explorer movie will attest.
Despite such an impressive work ethic, Trejo always tends to be a supporting player and very rarely gets to be the leading man. However, that changed a decade ago when distant cousin and frequent collaborator Robert Rodriguez put him front-and-center in Machete, a modern update on the classic old-school exploitation movie.
The project was born from strange origins, with a fake trailer directed by Rodriguez for his Grindhouse double-feature alongside Quentin Tarantino leading to the feature-length spinoff, and Machete went on to become a whole lot more popular than the movie that spawned it after earning over four times the $10 million budget at the box office, almost twice as much as the $65 million bomb Grindhouse could manage.
Follow-up Machete Kills wasn’t quite as successful though and as a result, the sequel-baiting tease of Machete Kills Again… In Space that ended the movie has never moved forward, despite Trejo admitting that he’d be happy to direct it himself.
We haven’t heard anything about the project for a while now, but in a recent interview, the Spy Kids and Con Air star admitted that it looks unlikely that the third installment will ever happen, with Rodriguez’s hectic schedule said to be the main sticking point.
“Machete, Machete Kills, if Robert would ever get off his ass, he’d write Machete Kills in Space! I might write it. You know, I haven’t spoken to Robert in a while. He’s been really busy and I’ve been busy. Maybe I’ll call him, see what’s up. But I haven’t talked to Robert for a while. He kind of dumped me I think. I got too big. He’s great. But he’s busy, he’s got six kids. That will keep you busy. His kids are wonderful too.”
Danny Trejo might be disappointed that he probably won’t get the chance to bring his starring trilogy to a close with Machete Kills Again… In Space, but based on his filmography, it isn’t like he’s going to be short of work, and has plenty in the pipeline to keep him occupied for the foreseeable future.