Director Robert Rodriguez Says He Had to Fight for Latinx Representation In ‘Spy Kids’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Robert Rodriguez

If the studio had its method, the 2001 film Spy Kids might need regarded loads completely different. Director Robert Rodriguez revealed that he all the time envisioned the movie’s household of super-spies as Latinx, however that some questioned that selection, worrying it might alienate U.S. audiences. 

Robert Rodriguez wished to make a film impressed by his family 

Robert Rodriguez
Robert Rodriguez | Vera Anderson/WireImage

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On July 23, Rodriguez appeared within the pre-recorded Comic-Con@Home panel “Directors on Directing,” together with Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski and Jurassic World: Dominion’s Colin Trevorrow. All three had been requested to share a time they’d scored what they noticed as an vital artistic victory.

“For me it was an enormous victory, and it was an vital one … to have the children in Spy Kids be a Latin household,” Rodriguez mentioned. “The studio was like, ‘Why are you making them Latin, though, why don’t you just make them American?’ I was like, ‘They are American, they’re based on my family.’”

The Antonio Banderas character was based mostly on Rodriguez’s FBI agent uncle

Rodriguez shared that Gregorio, the character performed by Antonio Banderas within the movie, was based mostly on his uncle Gregorio Rodriguez, an FBI agent who took down two criminals on the most-wanted record. Other characters, together with Juni (Daryl Sabara) and Felix (Cheech Marin) had been additionally named after his members of the family. 

“I wanted to make a movie about my family, because I grew up in a family with 10 kids, a big Latin family,” the Sin City director defined. “But I thought I should make it a spy [movie] so it’s more interesting.”

Spy Kids, which was produced by Harvey Weinstein’s Dimension Films, made practically $150 million on the field workplace and resulted in a number of sequels. But when he was pitching the movie, Rodriguez mentioned he needed to “put the flag in … and say this is how it’s going to be done,” to get the film made with the solid he wished. 

How Rodriguez offered the studio on ‘Spy Kids’   

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Rodriguez defined he needed to get artistic to persuade a reluctant studio to log off on the movie. When decision-makers expressed concern that making the primary characters Latinx would imply a smaller viewers for the movie, he drew a comparability to probably the most well-known spy film franchise in historical past. 

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

The director added that if it weren’t for his private connection to the story and dedication to various casting, he might need caved to the studio’s preliminary request to make the film extra “American.” 

“If I wasn’t Latin, I would have given up the fight,” he mentioned. “Because I would have been, ‘OK, I just want to get the movie made. Because it was based on my family was the only reason I kept the fight up.”

Spy Kids was in style with children of all backgrounds, however Rodriguez mentioned it was particularly vital for individuals who usually didn’t see themselves represented on display screen.

“For those who are Latin, in particular, it means so much,” he mentioned. “It changes their whole future about what is possible.”

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