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Netflix Reboots ‘Spy Kids’ with Robert Rodriguez Returning to Helm the Franchise

Two decades after the release of Rodriguez's "Spy Kids," Netflix announced the franchise will be reimagined by the writer-director.

SPY KIDS, Carla Gugino, Daryl Sabara, Antonio Banderas, Alexa Vega, 2001

“Spy Kids”

©Miramax/Courtesy Everett Collection

It’s not just the Cortez family who are international spies.

Over two decades since the original 2001 film’s release, “Spy Kids” is set to be reimagined by Netflix in partnership with Skydance and Spyglass. Creator Robert Rodriguez returns to write, direct, and produce the film. Cast and production details have not yet been set.

The “Spy Kids” reboot will “introduce the world to a new family of spies,” per an official press release. This will mark Rodriguez’s second family film with Netflix, following the success of 2020’s “We Can Be Heroes.”

David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Don Granger will produce for Skydance, which will oversee development and production. Elizabeth Avellan and Racer Max will also produce. Spyglass owns the Spy Kids franchise. Spyglass’ Gary Barber and Peter Oillataguerre will executive produce.

Rodriguez launched “Spy Kids” with the original film in 2001, followed by “Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams” in 2002, “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over” in 2003, and “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World” in 2011. Collectively, the franchise has earned over $550 million at the worldwide box office.

Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino starred in the original trilogy, with their onscreen children played by Daryl Sabara and Alexa PenaVega appearing in all four films.

Writer-director Rodriguez revealed during a Comic-Con@Home panel in 2020 that he had to push for the “Spy Kids” family to be of Latin descent.

“For me it was a big victory to have the kids in ‘Spy Kids’ be a Latin family. The studio was like, ‘Why are you making them Latin, though, why don’t you just make them American?” he said. “They are American, they’re based on my family.”

Rodriguez cited the inspiration for “Spy Kids” as his uncle, Gregorio Rodriguez, who had a successful career in the FBI.

“There were no roles being written for Latins at that time, back in 1999, nor were they being cast. If I wasn’t Latin, I would have given up the fight,” Rodriguez continued. “When you’re doing anything that’s new, this just happens to be about diversity, you’re going to get a question and you have to have a good answer. They weren’t being dicks or anything, they’ve just never seen it before.”

The “From Dusk Till Dawn” director concluded, “You don’t have to be British to enjoy James Bond. By being more specific, you’re being more universal.”

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