Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Open Road Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Machete Kills, the Robert Rodriguez-directed sequel that brings back Danny Trejo as the blade-savvy former Mexican Federale. Michelle Rodriguez is back, and Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr, William Sadler, Marko Zaror and Mel Gibson also star. Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg sealed the deal. Kyle Ward wrote the script based on a story by Marcel Rodriguez and Rodríguez.

This is the second film in what is meant to be a trilogy. Trejo returns as an ex-Federale agent who is recruited by the U.S. president for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man — he must take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet. The last film was pure grindhouse, including something I’ve never seen before: Trejo slashed a bad guy in the gut, then unwound his intestines to use them as a rope ladder to crash through a window and land safely on the floor below. That’s a high bar, but here, he has Gibson playing the villain.

Rodriguez produced with Aaron Kaufman and Iliana Nikolic through their QuickDraw Productions banner, along with Sergei Bespalov of Aldamisa Films, Alexander Rodnyansky of AR Films, and Rick Schwartz of Overnight Films. The film is expected to have a wide release in 2013.

“Robert Rodriguez never ceases to wow audiences with his innovative and eye-popping film making. We are thrilled to bring the Machete franchise into the Open Road family and can’t wait to get to work with this incredible cast and the film making team,” stated Ortenberg.

Jere Hausfater and Mark Manuel negotiated on behalf of Aldamisa, along with Graham Taylor and WME Global, who repped the film.

A refresher course on the original film seems in order, and here you go:

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