Robert Rodriguez directed some of the most favorite movies in recent memory from Alita: Battle Angel to The city of sin, but for this latest film it goes directly to streaming.
Amid a rift between the backward cinema industry and powerful streaming services, Rodriguez has teamed up with Netflix to create We can be heroes, a colorful superhero adapted for children with loose ties with his underrated classic from 2005 The Adventures of a Shark and Lavagirl. The Christmas movie release coincides with another superhero movie, The Wonderful Woman 1984, the first of many Warner Bros. films to go directly to HBO Max over a coronavirus pandemic – despite protests from directors, stars and theater owners. (On the same day, the latest Pixar, Soul, also leads straight to Disney +.)
But Rodriguez speaks Inverse that, at least for such a film We can be heroes, streaming will always be a better option than cinemas, which never really reflected the success of his early films like Spy Kids anyway.
“Movies like Spy Kids 3D are great on the big screen,” he says. “But for these particular movies that kids watch over and over again, watch them at home. I can’t take them to the theater or they would go every day. The box office never reflected how many kids actually watch the movie.”
Since box office earnings are the leading force in Hollywood, Rodriguez stopped making children’s films and focused on R-rated action movies that adults would pay to watch in theaters. That’s when Netflix called.
“When Netflix came to me and said, We would love to get a family movie,, like the ones you used to do like Spy Kids and Sharkboy“I thought it was just a great idea,” says Rodriguez. I was really interested not only to do it for them, but to find out what the true metrics are about how many children and families watch those things. So, these particular types of movies I would only do for streaming, because that seems to go right to the core of where my audience is. “
Despite this, Rodriguez thinks there is still room for big action movies like Alita belonging to the big screen. And when asked if he thinks cinemas could survive Covid-19, he seems a cautious optimist:
“It’s hard to know, man. Nobody knows anything, right?” If this vaccine fails, we are all in trouble. But hopefully things could get back to some normal where we could do the things we miss. I play music on set, and people were like, I haven’t heard live music in so long. They long for what they once could. I think when he comes back, the big one will come back. “
We can be heroes now broadcasts on Netflix.