Robert Rodriguez isn’t against bringing original Spy Kids stars Alexa PenaVega and Daryl Sabara back for another film. But the director says the time between the latest installment, Armageddon, and 2011’s Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World, meant that it was “important to just start the franchise fresh.”
The filmmaker spoke about his decision to launch the latest Spy Kids chapter with a completely new family — and new set of leading child stars — in a new interview with Yahoo Entertainment.
“I wanted to re-establish a new family,” he said of the choice to cast Connor Esterson and Everly Carganilla in the new Netflix film, out Friday. “Because it’d been so long [since 2011’s All the Time in the World], it was important to just start the franchise fresh and then go from there.”
Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World starred PenaVega and Sabara alongside Jessica Alba, Joel McHale, Rowan Blanchard, Mason Cook, Ricky Gervais and Jeremy Piven. Alba portrayed an Organization of Super Spies agent who was married to McHale’s spy-hunting reporter. Vega and Sabara were the niece and nephew of Alba’s secret agent, whose stepchildren (Blanchard and Cook) face off against a villain who threatens to unleash a time weapon known as Project: Armageddon.
While the director, also known for The Book of Boba Fett, Grindhouse and From Dusk Till Dawn, is interested in expanding the Spy Kids universe with a new family, it doesn’t mean he hasn’t considered bringing back his former leads.
“I would love to bring back [characters], I would love to connect the worlds. That would be so fun,” he said. “It could still be in the same world, so if we get to make more films, there easily could be legacy characters that come back.”
During the interview, Rodriguez also shared the significance of being able to release another Spy Kids sequel in Hollywood’s current storytelling climate. “It’s hard to make movies in Hollywood that aren’t [based on] a preexisting material that a studio owns,” he said. “So when you can come up with your own story and make sequels to it, man, you’re going to make as many of those as you can because it’s a rarity.”
Released in 2001, the original Spy Kids starred Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino as two spies who, after being kidnapped, must be saved by their two children, played by PenaVega and Sabara. Since then, four more films have been released, including Armageddon and an animated series, Spy Kids: Mission Critical.