Many were surprised, yet pleased, when Demian Bichir’s named appeared among last year’s Oscar nominees for Best Actor. He’s been doing great work for years, but he was singled out for his fantastic performance in the drama A Better Life. As one can surmise, an Oscar nomination leads to plenty film offers, and now it appears that Bichir has settled on a duo of projects to shoot in the near future: Robert Rodriguez’s sequel Machete Kills and William Friedkin’s thriller Trapped. Furthermore, Bichir was apparently very much in the mix for the villain role in the Star Trek sequel that eventually went to Benedict Cumberbatch. Hit the jump for more.
Per Variety, Bichir will be taking a role in Rodriguez’s Machete Kills. His part is under wraps, but the film already has an interesting cast with Mel Gibson and Michelle Rodriguez taking supporting roles opposite Danny Trejo, who returns as the star. The pic is the second in a planned trilogy that will find the machete-wielding Mexican heading to outer space in the final installment (seriously).
Additionally, Bichir will be starring in Friedkin’s (The Exorcist) indie thriller Trapped. The actor will play an Israeli operative in the pic, will is slated to start filming early next year. Moreover, Variety notes that Bichir was actually a favorite to take over the villain role in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek sequel after Benicio Del Toro dropped out of the project. A number of Hispanic actors were mentioned for the role (details on what that role probably is can be found right here), including Edgar Ramirez and Jordi Molla before Abrams was wowed by Cumberbatch’s audition.
Bichir took himself out of the running due to scheduling issues with a Mexican stage production of Swimming With Sharks. The actor had already delayed his participation in the play (directed by his brother) to star in A Better Life and Weeds, so he felt like he couldn’t push it back yet again in favor of another Hollywood project. It’s a shame since Bichir is such a terrific actor, but Cumberbatch is in no way a step down. Bichir will next be seen this summer in Oliver Stone’s Savages and is expected to begin shooting Machete Kills in June.