Robert Rodriguez can be Hollywood’s favorite family-friendly director…just for one day. Every few years or so, the Alita: Battle Angel director will deliver a new family movie out of nowhere — Spy Kids would become a minor phenomenon in 2001, spawning a four-film series and an animated reboot, and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl has gained a small but passionate following. Enough of a following that Rodriguez is returning to the world of Sharkboy and Lavagirl for a sequel — of sorts — with the upcoming Netflix kid action movie We Can Be Heroes.
Below, you can check out the We Can Be Heroes first look images featuring the film’s high-profile stars, like Pedro Pascal, Christian Slater, and Priyanka Chopra.
We Can Be Heroes First Look
Written and directed by Robert Rodriguez, We Can Be Heroes is about “when alien invaders kidnap Earth’s superheroes, their children must team up and learn to work together if they want to save their parents and the world.” Set in the Sharkboy and Lavagirl universe, the film stars Pascal, Slater, and Boyd Holbrook as members of a superhero team called the Heroics, who can be seen in action in the above images. But, like Rodriguez’s other kid classic Spy Kids, the adults get kidnapped, forcing their children to step up and save them (and by extension, the world).
The team of 11 kids, all with their own superpowers, are led by Young Missy (YaYa Gosselin), who has not yet discovered her powers. But the other child superheroes have a pretty cool collection of powers: one can predict the future, while another can change his face, according to Entertainment Weekly, which first debuted the We Can Be Heroes images. Casting the relatively unknown kids was one of Rodriguez’s favorite parts of the film, the director told EW.
“I love casting. I take finding the right people very seriously,” Rodriguez said. “Find the people who can bring some magic to it and surprise me with what they bring.”
Rounding out the cast are Christopher McDonald, Adriana Barraza, Vivien Blair, Isaiah Russell-Bailey, Akira Akbar, Lyon Daniels, Nathan Blair, Lotus Blossom, Hala Finley, Andy Walken, Dylan Henry Lau, Andrew Diaz, Taylor Dooley, Sung Kang, Haley Reinhart, J. Quinton Johnson, Brittany Perry-Russell, Brently Heilbron, and JJ Dashnaw. Though one of the actors that Rodriguez was especially keen to work with was Pascal, who plays Marcus Moreno, Missy’s father, who is on the verge of retirement.
“I’ve wanted to work with Pedro since forever,” Rodriguez said. “[Marcus] can be a badass if he needs to. He takes the glasses off, and he looks legit.”
One notable name in that cast list: Taylor Dooley, who starred as Lavagirl in Rodriguez’s The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl. This certainly suggests that We Can Be Heroes is a spiritual sequel to the 2005 film. “It could be,” Rodriguez teased.
We Can Be Heroes debuts on Netflix on January 1, 2021.
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