Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids) is back behind the camera for his next attempt at a kids classic. Someone find Danny Trejo.
EW: Movie studios can’t get Robert Rodriguez on the phone fast enough these days. That’s straight from the 52-year-old filmmaker himself, on a recent call with EW, discussing his upcoming action-hero tale We Can Be Heroes. Rodriguez’s previous films make for ideal family-night-in viewing (okay, maybe not Machete), including the four-film blockbuster series Spy Kids and 2005’s The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D. Bottom line: Rodriguez knows how to keep families on the couch — and in 2020, the industry is taking note.
“A lot of families have spent a lot of time together,” the Texas native says of the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’ve been getting calls from all kinds of studios: ‘Reboot Spy Kids.’ ‘Reboot Sharkboy.’ Of course they want to. They’re all sitting at home with their kids.”
Rodriguez’s next film, We Can Be Heroes — all but designed to hold youngsters’ attention (a superpower in itself) and set in the Sharkboy universe — answers that call. Starring Pedro Pascal, Christian Slater, and Boyd Holbrook as members of a superhero team called the Heroics, the movie begins with the group kidnapped and their kids left to try to save them (and the world). Young Missy (YaYa Gosselin), who has not yet discovered her powers, gets to know her fellow child superheroes: One can predict the future; another, named Facemaker, has the ability to, well, change his face. “[For] a kid, that’s an amazing power,” says Rodriguez. “What if you could become anyone else?”
Eleven children, all very rough around the edges as far as controlling their abilities, band together; it’s a collective learning process. “I love casting. I take finding the right people very seriously,” Rodriguez says. “Find the people who can bring some magic to it and surprise me with what they bring.”
Among the kidnapped parents is Pascal’s Marcus Moreno, Missy’s father and a superhero on the verge of retirement. “I’ve wanted to work with Pedro since forever,” Rodriguez says. “[Marcus] can be a badass if he needs to. He takes the glasses off, and he looks legit.”
So could We Can Be Heroes be considered a spiritual sequel to Sharkboy? “It could be,” Rodriguez cryptically teases. Just keep your eyes to the sky. Or your Netflix queue.