Want to feel old, even more so than you have during every haunted second of this past, endless year? The last film centered on the original Spy Kids was released nearly eighteen years ago, in 2003. A child born then would now be a spy adult, technically old enough to have spy kids of their own. For most of us, it’s enough to make you go spy-fetal over the crushing and inexorable advance of our spy-mortality. But if you’re Spy Kids creator Robert Rodriguez, it’s time to make a fresh start, seize the day anew, and reboot the whole dang franchise.
Deadline reports that Rodriguez will write and direct a brand-new film version of his family-friendly, Austin-shot series about children run amok in the world of espionage, reimagining it with an all-new “multicultural family” of secret agents. Of course, fans may recall that Spy Kids already tried this kind of branching out with its actual last installment, 2011’s Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, in which Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara’s now twentysomething spies were reduced to mere supporting roles spent mentoring the next generation of meddling tykes. That movie was widely derided as the worst of the series, and it more or less ended the original Spy Kids run, save for a recent cartoon adaptation on Netflix. Still, we’ve all grown so much since then, and these ensuing spy-years have lent even those misguided efforts the rosy, forgiving tint of nostalgia, such that we now may welcome any attempt to revisit and revive our lost and distant spy-youths. And while we still don’t know much yet about Rodriguez’s plans, other than that they surely involve plenty of slapstick action and cartoonish gadgets, we know that we are finally ready to receive it with the learned wisdom of spy-age.
Demi Lovato Returns to TV in “Food Issues” Comedy
It’s also been more than a decade since Demi Lovato broke out as a Disney Channel star, with series like Camp Rock and Sonny With a Chance. But comparatively, her own maturation feels far less abrupt. After all, the Dallas-bred pop star long ago turned her struggles with addiction and mental illness into a public and very adult journey of triumphant self-discovery, and now she’s looking to bring some of that same hard-won empathy to her first fully grown-up TV starring role. Deadline reports that Lovato will lead the cast of Hungry, a new NBC comedy about a group of friends with food issues who support each other through their myriad life crises. Lovato will also serve as an executive producer on the series alongside Hot in Cleveland creator Suzanne Martin, and it’s assumed that Lovato’s personal experience with eating disorders will greatly influence the project. Hopefully Lovato’s confident, clear-eyed view of herself will end up grounding such a sensitive topic, which could help it avoid the fate of FX’s very similar Starved.
Gary Clark Jr. Joins Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Biopic
While a film about the life of Elvis Presley directed by Moulin Rouge pop fabulist Baz Luhrmann is about as far from “grounded” as you can get, Luhrmann is at least attempting to tether it with real-life musicians in some of the supporting roles. Among those will be Austin’s own Gary Clark Jr., who’s just been added in the role of real-life Delta blues singer Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup. The Mississippi songwriter was an acknowledged influence on the King, and he wrote several songs that Elvis would make famous—including Elvis’s debut single, “That’s All Right”—all while Crudup himself lived in poverty, unsuccessfully chasing down royalties and scratching out a living as a bootlegger and field laborer. That Crudup is even a character suggests that Luhrmann’s movie, which also stars Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker, will take a broad and potentially critical view of Presley’s career within American culture. Reportedly, Luhrmann was also adamant about bringing in real-life musicians to “create authenticity” within a movie that, nevertheless, will still probably explode at some point into a bombastic, sequined circus. The role is one of several in Clark’s burgeoning acting career, which kicked off in earnest with his performance in John Sayles’s 2007 drama Honeydripper as—what else?—a talented blues guitarist.
Dennis Quaid to Play (Another) Hero Pilot
It’s been nearly a year since Houston’s own Dennis Quaid rang in the start of “the Dennissance”—a period of widespread cultural rebirth and enlightenment, specifically as it pertains to Dennis Quaid. And while this may not have yielded the kind of total career revitalization we’ve come to expect from other “-aissances,” you can’t deny that Dennis Quaid sure has been doing a lot of work lately. Hot off of last week’s announcement that he’ll be playing a football coach (again) in a Kurt Warner biopic, along comes word that Quaid will be playing a pilot (again) in the faith-based drama On a Wing and a Prayer. The film draws inspiration from the true story of Doug White, the Louisiana pharmacist who, in 2009, was forced to take over the private plane that was ferrying his family home from a funeral after the pilot suddenly died (White landed the plane safely with the help of heroic air traffic controllers). For Quaid, an amateur pilot himself, this will be at least his fifth time flying something onscreen, having previously been behind the stick in movies including Flight of the Phoenix, Innerspace, Enemy Mine, and The Right Stuff. But this time, he’ll be pretending to not know what he’s doing, which is the kind of artistic rebirth Quaid has long been known for.
Jackson Rathbone to Play Jaded Rocker in Netflix’s Mixtape
Austin resident Jackson Rathbone will similarly stretch out in Netflix’s upcoming Mixtape, a film that appears to offer a far sunnier, much more family-friendly spin on the dark premise of its 13 Reasons Why series. The movie concerns a teenager decoding life-changing revelations from a cassette—this time a mixtape whose songs hold clues to the parents she never knew. Rathbone will play a musician who knew the teen’s late mom back in his nineties heyday, described by Deadline as “a bitter man who is still playing in a crappy local band.” This would be a slight leap for the Midland-bred Twilight star, who spent his pre-movie career playing in the funk-rock band 100 Monkeys—a group that, depending on your personal taste, was not explicitly bad—and has lately been putting out solo work in a more Americana vein. Given Mixtape’s Y2K-era setting, which was one of history’s most fertile periods for crappy music, there’s no telling what specific musical direction Rathbone’s character will take, though he’s definitely got the chops to suck convincingly.
Beyoncé Debuts Her “Icy Park” Winter Collection
We’re nearing the beginning of February, which means Texans get to enjoy the brisk pleasures of winter for one, maybe two more weeks. So the timing couldn’t be more appropriate for the debut of Icy Park, the newest winter-themed edition of Beyoncé’s Adidas collaboration, Ivy Park. The Houston mega-star debuted the line with a brief teaser that finds Gucci Mane, Hailey Baldwin Bieber, and Beyoncé herself draped in parkas and track pants inspired by “mountain slopes,” according to Women’s Wear Daily. The singer makes an appearance sporting white leggings, elbow-length white gloves, and a furry white hat while sitting atop a ski lift—the epitome of wintry elegance and, given her exposed shoulders, truly fierce indifference toward hypothermia. Icy Park is described in the ad only as “coming soon,” and much like previous Ivy Park drops, it will likely sell out fast. If you’re looking to sport Beyoncé’s cold-weather couture, you’ll need to stay on top of it and act quickly—and maybe consider moving somewhere else.
This Week in Matthew McConaughey
The passage of time was also top of mind for Matthew McConaughey this week, as he continued his recent practice of reuniting with costars from his now forsaken romantic-comedy period—a time that he seems to recall increasingly fondly, now that he doesn’t have to make those movies anymore. Calling in for a virtual interview on The Drew Barrymore Show, the Austin actor cheerfully reminisced with the host about their shared experiences making 1995’s Boys on the Side, a memory that, it seems, has largely been reduced to McConaughey recalling how Barrymore talked about loving avocados, while she (like most people) mostly remembers that McConaughey liked playing the bongos. There was slightly more to talk about with Jennifer Lopez, on the other hand, when the two stars came together for a lengthy chat over Instagram about the twentieth anniversary of The Wedding Planner. Those looking for juicy behind-the-scenes anecdotes will thrill to Lopez’s revelation that McConaughey gently whispered, “Miss Lopez, I’m going to kiss you now,” just before their pivotal love scene, while those who enjoy actorly platitudes will be delighted with McConaughey praising Lopez’s “deliberation and intentionality.” At no point in their twenty-minute chat did they delve into McConaughey’s hideously frosted tips, but I suppose you could watch the whole thing anyway.
But of course, we can’t spend our lives dwelling on the past. We must always look to the horizon, because that’s where we’ll see a dog flying Matthew McConaughey like a kite. That’s the fantastical, yet oddly logical premise of Doritos’ new all-star Super Bowl commercial, which the company has already been teasing through a series of clips featuring Jimmy Kimmel, Mindy Kaling, and someone dubbed “Flat Matthew.” Those looking for clues to Flat Matthew’s identity got a crucial piece of the puzzle this week in the latest preview, where he’s spotted by a couple of kids who ask why that aforementioned dog-piloted kite looks an awful lot like Matthew McConaughey. You can then hear McConaughey’s voice in the distance calling for “a little help”—help that is bound to be related in some way to the imminent return of Doritos 3D, whose robust, corn-chip fullness will presumably help restore the more corporeal Matthew we all know and love. We suppose you’ll just have to tune into the most-watched TV event of the entire year to find out.