Jessica Alba Joining 'Spy Kids 4'

Fan-favorite filmmaker Robert Rodriguez seems to bounce easily between hardcore blood-and-action fests like Planet Terror, Machete and Sin City and kids movies like The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl 3-D, Shorts and the Spy Kids franchise.

Speaking of the latter, Rodriguez spoke earlier this year about his intention to reboot the Spy Kids series. And yet the next installment that's on the way is called Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World (not the best title) - how can it be a true reboot if it's carrying on the sequel numbering in its title?

That confusion aside, we know that things are going to be a lot different when we return to the Spy Kid world. One of the most notable differences is that the titular kids will reportedly be a lot younger than the ones we saw in the first three Spy Kids movies. And now we learn that joining these new kids will be one of Rodriguez's frequent collaborators, Jessica Alba.

Heat Vision reports the exclusive news that Alba is currently in negotiations to star in one of the major roles in Spy Kids 4. She would play, "a retired spy who has been reactivated... the mother of a baby and two preteen stepchildren." Unsurprisingly, the new Spy Kids will be those two pre-teens, apparently named Rebecca and Cecil.

Alba isn't what I would call a great thespian actress but she's at least passable in the right roles (stick with me here...). Those roles are usually the ones where the tone of the movie is over-the-top, such as Sin City and the upcoming Machete (both of which are Rodriguez-directed films, oddly enough). The Spy Kids series has had that same sort of tone so it might work with Alba at the forefront, although I'm having a hard time picturing her as a retired spy (she's only 29!).

Jessica Alba - Sin City and Machete

Despite Alba being a big name, Rodriguez can't rely solely on her to carry the movie, as he obviously needs the new kids to play the titular roles. Moviehole managed to get a look at a draft of the script, so head on over there for some of the spoilerish details about the two new kids and other things we can expect from Spy Kids 4.

On top of finding the new Spy Kids, Rodriguez is also looking for an actor to play Alba's husband, "a slightly nerdy investigative reporter," as well as someone to play the villain known as "The Time Keeper." The latter apparently wears a "strange looking mask with a clock on it"; the villain's mission is to stop time.

If you're wondering whether we'll be seeing any of the previous actors from the franchise, cameos are expected from Alexa Vega (the girl half of the original Kids), who will be playing the boss who recruits the two new kids; Daryl Sabara (the boy half of the original Kids); Antonio Banderas and Danny Trejo. There's no mention whether or not Carla Gugino (who played the mother in the first three movies) will return.

I'm not at all surprised that Trejo will appear again, since his character was in all the other Spy Kids movies (the character he played was called Machete - is it the same character Rodriguez would later devote a whole movie to?).

Danny Trejo as Machete in Spy Kids
Danny Trejo (?) as Machete in Spy Kids

Like the rest of the Spy Kids movies, the fourth one will have a relatively low budget of less than $30 million (the others cost $35 million, $38 million and $38 million respectively). Each installment has made at least $119 million at the box office on those modest budgets and I don't think things are going to change with this latest installment.

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World is aiming to start shooting next month in Austin, Texas and already has a release date of August 19th, 2011. You can expect to don your 3D glasses to watch the movie when its released (are you surprised?).

Sources: Heat Vision and Moviehole

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