Ever since directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez released their experimental tribute to exploitation films entitled, Grindhouse in 2007, which featured "fake trailers," fans have been desperately waiting for a full-length version of Rodriguez's Machete trailer. The trailer starred frequent Rodriguez collaborator Danny Trejo in the title role as a Federale from Mexico who gets hired to do hatchet jobs in the U.S. Well, fans can now stop waiting as Rodriguez and Trejo began shooting the film, simply entitled Machete, earlier this year and are currently in post-production on the project. The movie features an extremely intriguing and talented cast that in addition to Trejo includes, Michelle Rodriguez, Lindsay Lohan, Cheech Marin, Jessica Alba, Rose McGowan, Robert De Niro, Steven Segal, Jeff Fahey, Don Johnson and Tom Savini. We recently had the opportunity to speak to both Robert Rodriguez and Danny Trejo visiting Rodriguez's Troublemaker Studios in Austin, Texas to get the inside scoop on the upcoming feature film.
We began by speaking to Rodriguez and asked the director to tell us a little bit about how Machete has turned out? "I'm still turning it out. They're editing it right now," said Rodriguez. "I'm writing some score and it's going really terrific. It looks really great. I wish you could see the posters, they're dope." We continued by asking him when fans might get their first look at a trailer or teaser for the film? "I'm not sure when we are putting that out since that was independently done," answered Rodriguez. However, when speaking to the film's star, Trejo, we got a slightly more specific time as far as to when the film would be released. "Everybody either asks me when Machete is coming out or if it is done? It's coming out in April," confirmed the actor definitively. Trejo went on to discuss the origins of the film, the character and his long-standing relationship with Rodriguez in more detail. "Well, Robert had been training me ... god, that sounds really silly ... for Machete since we did Desperado. Everybody thinks that Machete came out of a trailer, but it didn't," explained Trejo. "Robert told me that he wanted to do this movie called Machete when we were doing Desperado."
"Machete kicks ass," declared Trejo as he began to discuss the film in more depth. "It is a culmination of Desperado, Once Upon a Time in Mexico and there's even a little bit of From Dusk Till Dawn in there. I think it's going to be one of his (Rodriguez) best and I'm not just saying that because I'm the lead, it's just a great movie," assured the actor. "I think everybody's going to walk away from that movie with some opinion. It's a battle for our border, you know? People are really serious about what's going on with the border, and it shows the negatives of both sides. Not just, you know, we want everybody to cross, or we don't want anybody to cross. It shows the negative of both sides and everybody's going to be pissed off," Trejo concluded. But we wanted to know if Machete would incorporate the "raw-quality" print style that Grindhouse had? "Yes. I love that. Get a bag of popcorn, just sit, watch and you go back to the 1960s," said the actor with excitement.
As previously mentioned, Rodriguez has surrounded Trejo with some of the most talented and interesting actors in the business for Machete including two-time Oscar winner and living legend Robert De Niro. The film unites the two actors who haven't worked together since Michael Mann's Heat and Trejo described the first day he saw De Niro on the set of Machete. "You know, when I first saw Robert De Niro on the set, he came up and his first words to me were, 'Don't make me like this, homes.' You know, that was my line in Heat," explained the actor. "I kind of laughed and he said, 'Man, Danny, I'm really proud of you. You're the lead. This is it, this is you.' I looked him right in the eyes and I said, Can I get you some coffee, Mr. De Niro? You know, cause that's the guy," joked Trejo. "I couldn't believe that Robert (Rodriguez) got De Niro, then Jessica Alba, you know, and Lindsay Lohan, Michelle Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey, Steven Seagal and Cheech Marin. It just goes on and on," Trejo continued. "It was really hard like not just giggling, you know? But it was amazing, and that cast was amazing. Robert (Rodriguez) just has people that gravitate toward him. They want to work with him. So any actor that works with him knows it's going to be an unbelievable cast because everyone on the A-list wants to work with him," finished Trejo.
Finally we asked Trejo, if Machete is a hit are he and Rodriguez planning on making more films in the series or is this film just a one-off? "We want Machete, Machete Kills, and Machete Kills Again," joked Trejo. "That's mine and Robert's standards, you know? Every time I text him, he'll text me back, Machete 2, coming up," Trejo stated. When speaking to Rodriguez we asked about the sequel titles that Trejo had mentioned and the director said this in his best "trailer-announcer" voice, "Machete Kills and Machete Kills again followed by Machete in Space. Intrigued by the title, Machete in Space, we followed up by asking Rodriguez as well, if this film was intended as a one-off or the beginning of a franchise? "We had always talked about making him a franchise character," answered Rodriguez. "Danny and I talked about it in '94 while making Desperado and that's where I first mentioned Machete directly. So imagine that, he's been bugging me since '94. 'When are we making Machete?' Danny would ask. So I made him a trailer and I was thinking, now he'll be satisfied but he wanted a whole movie. 'When are we going to make the real movie?' Danny would now ask. We've now made the movie and we're finishing editing it and Danny's like, 'Now we got to write the sequel,'" joked Rodriguez. But is the director seriously considering those titles for the possible sequels? "Oh they were part of the original trailer as a joke but they could be, they're fun titles, they're not bad," said the director. "But I do like Machete in Space though." Yes Mr. Rodriguez, so do we!