Mel Gibson apes Tesla's Elon Musk in 'Machete Kills'
05:00 AM, Oct 09, 2013
Mel Gibson has discovered the perks that go with portraying an eccentric billionaire modeled on Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.
The actor gets to tool around in an a Star Wars-style landspeeder in the campy astro-exploitation film Machete Kills, which comes to theaters Friday.
The scene, played straight, got one of the biggest laughs at a recent screening as Gibson’s character, Luther Voz, showed the Mexican mercenary Machete (Danny Trejo) around his space plant, rolling along at dizzying speeds of four miles per hour. That photo is exclusive to us.
“It’s a regular golf cart with the landspeeder body around it,” filmmaker Robert Rodriguez tells Drive On. “Originally I was going to erase the wheels, because Mel Gibson’s character would have the technology to not need wheels.”
“But then I thought it was funnier with the wheels,” he says. “And I’m so low ‘budge.’”
Rodriguez says he was inspired to make madman Voz a Star Wars junkie after meeting Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at a Hollywood party. The two hit it off and Musk gave Rodriguez a tour of SpaceX where he showed him the company’s Falcon rocket. The title piqued Rodriguez’s interest.
“He said that it was based on the Millennium Falcon,” laughs Rodriguez. “And I thought, ‘Oh my God, I am totally going to have Mel Gibson’s character be inspired by his favorite movies and making his dreams come true.’ So I had a bunch of Star Wars references, even the golf cart that takes him around.”
“The real life story was better than the fantasy,” says Rodriguez.
Trejo dukes it out with Gibson and scantily-clad warriors like Sofia Vergara in