Rapper Bad Bunny joins Marvel universe as El Muerto, a wrestler with special powers

The Grammy-winning rapper becomes the first Latino actor to headline a Marvel movie

Rapper Bad Bunny will portray the Marvel character El Muerto, making him the first Latino to headline a movie in the MCU. Photo: Getty Images
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He’s already conquered the music world, with a string of awards, accolades and record-breaking achievements, and now Puerto Rican superstar Bad Bunny is set to join the Marvel universe.

The rapper, 28, whose real name is Benito Antonio Martinez Ocasio, has been cast as the character El Muerto in the film of the same name, due to be released in January 2024.

El Muerto’s real name is Juan Carlos Estrada Sanchez. A wrestler in the Spider-Man universe, his powers include super strength and endurance. His special strength, along with his mask, have been passed down the Sanchez family through generations.

“To bring El Muerto to life is just incredible… so exciting,” the Grammy-winning rapper told the crowd at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. “It's amazing. it's incredible. I love wrestling. I grew up watching it and now I'm a wrestler.

“This is why I love this character. I think it’s the perfect role to me, it will be epic."

The casting makes Ocasio the first Latino actor to headline a Marvel movie.

Who is El Muerto?

Considered a hero in the Spider-Man universe, Sanchez aka El Muerto comes from a long line of wrestlers with special powers.

“Each wrestler had to prove themselves to their oppressor, el Dorado, so that they could remain alive and keep their powers,” according to Marvel’s description of the character. “When Marcus Estrada presented his son Juan Carlos to el Dorado, Juan Carlos cowered in terror, unwilling to fight him.

"Marcus Estrada sacrificed his life to try and save Juan Carlos. Out of respect for his father's courage, el Dorado granted Juan Carlos 10 years to travel and to become brave, and then to duel a masked wrestler and unmask him.”

The role isn’t Bad Bunny’s first foray into acting. The rapper enjoyed a recurring role on Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico, and is set to appear in the coming Brad Pitt film, Bullet Train.

He has also made guest appearances in professional wrestling, winning the WWE 24/7 Championship in 2021, and in a tag team match at WrestleMania 37.

Updated: April 26, 2022, 1:10 PM