There are some actor/director combos that audiences have come to expect on seeing. Sam Raimi has Bruce Campbell, Rian Johnson has both Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Noah Segan, and for Robert Rodriguez one of his frequent collaborators is the great, real-life badass Danny Trejo. However, these collaborators don’t have a perfect track record, and in the case of Rodriguez, Trejo, and Sin City, the actor's potential role in the comic book movie apparently went to Mickey Rourke for a rather hilarious reason.
While speaking with Danny Trejo in advance of his upcoming movie Minions: The Rise of Gru, I had one Robert Rodriguez question I was burning to ask him. Funny enough, it wasn’t about his absence in Sin City, but rather Trejo’s omission from the cast of 2019’s Alita: Battle Angel. While he’s still not sure why he was left out of the anime adaptation’s roster, Danny Trejo off-handedly mentioned that he was up for the role of Marv in the Frank Miller co-directed hardboiled noir.
It wasn’t meant to be, however, as the actor apparently didn’t meet a very special requirement Robert Rodriguez had for the role. Addressing both his absence in Alita and Sin City, Danny Trejo said,
To be fair, the character of Marv is supposed to be so hideous that most women are repulsed by him. We see this factor come into play during Sin City’s segment “The Hard Goodbye,” where Mickey Rourke’s character somehow finds himself entwined with the beautiful Goldie (Jaime King) just before her untimely death.
Though there were prosthetics involved to make Rourke look closer to his graphic novel counterpart, his “appalling disfigured” face admittedly made him a natural fit as one of Sin City’s most dogged protectors. With a litany of pro-boxing injuries and reconstructive surgeries that followed, Mickey Rourke’s physical attributes (as well as his career’s resurgence after appearing in the Academy Award nominated The Wrestler) made him the right fit for the part.
It’s not like Danny Trejo wouldn’t go on to work with Robert Rodriguez again. In fact, it was only two years after Sin City’s 2005 release that the two men teamed up on one of their greatest projects: the short that would spawn Machete (which was featured in the theatrical release of the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino double feature Grindhouse). It's a role that the actor would love to reprise, either in the upcoming Netflix Spy Kids reboot, or in the previously promised Machete Kills In Space.
This story does circle back all the way to talking about Alita: Battle Angel: a film with a fanbase that’s extremely motivated to see a sequel, and that has Robert Rodriguez, James Cameron, and Rosa Salazar pushing for the project. Were the Alita Army fandom to push for Trejo to appear in this hypothetical sequel, his reaction to his potential casting is as positive as you’d expect:
There you have it, folks. While it seems very unlikely we’ll be able to bring Danny Trejo into the world of Sin City (he's also not in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For), there’s still some prime opportunities to see the actor work with his longtime collaborator Robert Rodriguez. Who knows? Maybe there’s some room for Mickey Rourke to join in on some of these worlds too.
In the meantime, you can hear Danny Trejo bring Stronghold, one of the members of the Vicious 6, to life in Minions: The Rise of Gru, which opens this weekend (starting with early showings on Thursday).
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.