*UPDATED* Machete already filming with De Niro, Alba, Segal, and Lohan?!

Machete was the first of four fake trailers released with the 2007 double feature Grindhouse. Most are not aware since the awesome experince that was Grindhouse was missed by many. Click on the link for the trailer as a refresher or to bring you up to speed.machete-poster-trejo

Warning trailer is Not Safe for Work as it is rated X

Rumors and news swirled since Grindhouse’s release that some of the fake trailers would be made feature length and released as a Grindhouse sequel. The front runners were Eli Roth’s ‘Thanksgiving’ and Robert Rodriquez’s ‘Machete’. After the lackluster performance of Grindhouse in theaters and its subsequent seperation on DVD lacking all but one of the fake trailers, Machete being included on the Planet Terror DVD, it seemed as if any hope of the fakes being made real had been laid to rest.

That is until about 2 weeks ago. Bloody Disgusting broke news that Machete was set to begin filming any day with a cast listing way to good to be true to down right unbelievable. Names like Robert De Niro, Michelle Rodriquez (Lost, Fast & Furious, Avatar) and Jonah Hill (Superbad) were named in the original article and in a short time in the internet rumor mill even Steven Segal was added to the mix.

Last night Variety all but confirmed several of the casting rumors and even added some more hard to believe names to the cast list. Filming is already underway with Rodriguez co-directing with longtime editor Ethan Maniquis. Danny Trejo is obviously returning to play the titular character with Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriquez, Steven Segal, Lindsay Lohan (Hu?!?), Cheech Marin, Don Johnson and Jeff Fahey playing supporting roles. For now it seems not all of the rumors paned out but most were right on the money!

I had interest in seeing Machete from the first moment I saw the trailer open Grindhouse back in 2007. Now it looks like I only need to wait another 6-12 months. Now if only Eli Roth would get Thanksgiving thrown together in time to do a true Grindhouse sequel.

UPDATE 8/6/09: An official press release hit the wires today….

Robert Rodriguez has cast Jessica Alba (Sin City), Robert De Niro, Michelle Rodriguez (Fast & Furious), Lindsay Lohan (“Mean Girls), Cheech Marin (“Once Upon a Time in Mexico), Jeff Fahey (Lost), Don Johnson and Steven Seagal (Under Siege) alongside Danny Trejo in the highly anticipated spin-off action flick, Machete. The film is based on the “fake” trailer in Rodriguez’s 2007 GRINDHOUSE, featuring Trejo and Fahey reprising their original roles. MACHETE is being produced by Rodriguez who is the co-director with Ethan Maniquis, his long time editor. Rodriguez and Overnight Productions announced today that shooting is gearing up out of Troublemaker Studios in Austin, Texas.

MACHETE was originally a hard-edged trailer featured in GRINDHOUSE that became fanboy fodder since its first showing at the 2006 Comic-Con. “Machete had become my most requested movie and I never actually made it, so when the opportunity arose to answer the call with such an amazing cast, I jumped,” said Rodriguez.

The feature version of the trailer finds Machete (Trejo) a renegade former Mexican Federale, roaming the streets of Texas after a shakedown from drug lord Torrez (Seagal). Reluctantly, Machete takes an offer from spin doctor Benz (Fahey) to assassinate McLaughlin (De Niro) a corrupt Senator. Double crossed and on the run Machete braves the odds with the help of Luz (Rodriguez), a saucy taco slinger; Padre (Marin), his “holy” brother; and April (Lohan), a socialite with a penchant for guns. All while being tracked by Sartana (Alba), a sexy ICE agent with a special interest in the blade slinger.

Rodriguez, who also penned the script, will serve triple duty as producer with Elizabeth Avellán of Troublemaker Studios and Rick Schwartz, Aaron Kaufman, and Iliana Nikolic of Overnight Productions, who will also provide the film’s financing.

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