It’s been 15 years since the premiere of The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D, Director Richard Rodriguez’s fantasy adventure kids’ film that was hyped as the movie event of 2005. It fell short of expectations, but Rodriguez clearly retained a deep love for this imaginary world—deep enough that he was keen to revisit it with the forthcoming Netflix standalone sequel, We Can Be Heroes. And yes, the original Lavagirl, Taylor Dooley, makes an appearance.
(Spoilers below for The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl.)
Rodriguez is an impressively versatile director, from his early Western/action films El Mariachi (1992), Desperado (1995), and From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), to the Spy Kids franchise and last year’s science fiction blockbuster, Alita: Battle Angel. After the success of 2003’s Spy Kids 3D: Game Over, Rodriguez pitched another immersive kids’ film, based on a story by his young son, Racer Max. It featured a young boy named Max, neglected by his parents and bullied at school, who creates an imaginary dream world in his journal, called Planet Drool. The inhabitants include Sharkboy (Taylor Lautner), son of a marine biologist, and Lavagirl (Dooley), who has a tendency to set things on fire—as well as “plughounds” and singing bubbles called LaLas. But when the school bully steals Max’s dream journal, those dreams start to bleed into reality.