Luis Guzman has been a prominent character actor for long enough now that he’s practically become a household name just from playing the wacky side character is so many movies. But through his work with top notch directors like Paul Thomas Anderson and Steven Soderbergh, Guzman has long proven that he has the chops to provide a film with more than just wacky humor. This guy is a real actor, with potential to do great things.
And still, even in a world where a leathery and tattooed Danny Trejo has gotten a chance at a starring role as Machete, Guzman is an actor who we’ve only seen playing the silly best friend (that I can recall, if you want to comb his ridiculously long IMDB page and prove me wrong, please do). But all that is about to change. Deadline Cayey is reporting that Scott Sanders, the man who made the hilarious and probably underrated Black Dynamite, has cast Guzman in the starring role of his next film, Aztec Warrior.
Coming from a script that’s co-written by Sanders and Don Handfield, Aztec Warrior is a story set in the world of Mexican professional wrestling. Guzman will be playing the eponymous Warrior, who is involved in a heated rivalry with another luchador named El Diablo (Eugenio Derbez). Already set for supporting roles are names like Terry Crews, Nadine Velazquez (My Name is Earl), and Lupe Ontiveros (Desperate Housewives).
At first glance this project brings back terrible memories of sitting through the miserably unfunny Nacho Libre, but Sanders’ work on Black Dynamite was strong enough to provide some assurance that he can take schlocky subject matter and make it sing. Certainly there has to be enough material in the ridiculous world of Mexican professional wrestling to make for at least one funny movie, isn’t there? If this ends up being the one that hits, it just may be the first step toward breaking Guzman out of his supporting actor prison and sending him on his way toward being one of the biggest comedic actors in the business. And that would just be too cool for words.