Spy Kids Director Robert Rodriguez Discusses His Fight For Latinx Casting


For many individuals in my era, Spy Kids was a formative work of early 2000s entertainment–but it was additionally groundbreaking in its illustration of a Latinx household. Director Robert Rodriguez has lately mentioned how tough it was for him to see that imaginative and prescient by means of, in a chat on Collider’s [email protected] Directors on Directing panel.

The casting of a Latinx household was extra than simply Rodriguez’s vision–it was private, with every principal character named after a member of his family. Carmen was his sister, Juni his brother, and Gregorio and Felix each uncles.

“For me, it was a big victory, and it was an important one for things to follow, to have the kids in Spy Kids be a Latin family,” Rodriguez mentioned within the panel. “The studio was like, ‘Why are you making them Latin, though? Why don’t you just make them American?’ And I was like, ‘They are American, it’s based on my family.'”

The story was partially impressed by his uncle Gregorio, the premise for Antonio Banderas’s character, who was the one FBI agent to ever deliver down two completely different high ten most wished criminals. “I wanted to make a movie about my family, cause I grew up in a family of 10 kids, a big Latin family,” Rodriguez defined. “But I thought, ‘Well, I should make them spies so it’s more interesting for people. So it’s not just about my family.'”

But the director nonetheless confronted a combat over casting, with the studio questioning whether or not numerous casting would make the movie’s viewers smaller. “People think only Latins will go see it,” Rodriguez defined. “I said, ‘No, I don’t think so, I mean they’re only gonna speak Spanish as a kind of code when it’s cool. And they are American, they’re just Latin.”

“It wasn’t really convincing. I finally had to come up with a good argument,” he added. “Finally, I said, ‘Okay, you don’t have to be British to enjoy James Bond. By being so specific, it becomes more universal.’ So they went with it.”

As we now know, the movies had been an enormous success that ended up spawning three sequels, and a latest CGI animated reboot referred to as Spy Kids: Mission Critical. Rodriguez has been again within the highlight these days for his work directing final yr’s Battle Angel Alita adaptation.