Carmen and Juni Cortez were the original Spy Kids, but they couldn’t stay children forever. The 2023 franchise reboot, Spy Kids: Armageddon, started with a new set of spies, Patty and Tony Torrez-Tango, and the Cortezes were nowhere to be found. Of course, since the first Spy Kids was released in 2001, Carmen and Juni can no longer be the titular spies since they have grown up. This begs the question, what happened to these characters after their last appearance as the central duo of the franchise?

The Cortez siblings were introduced in the first Spy Kids movie in 2001 and continued to lead the franchise through Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (2002) and Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003). At the start of the first film, Carmen and Juni discovered that their parents (who had been kidnapped) were secretly spies working for the Organization of Super Spies, or OSS, and the sibling duo wound up becoming spies themselves to save them. Carmen was 12, and Juni was 9 when their story began, but, as kids do, they quickly grew up, but this wasn’t the end of their Spy Kid spy careers, despite their absence from Spy Kids: Armageddon.

In Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (2011), it’s revealed that Carmen and Juni had become estranged. Juni had retired from the OSS and set out independently, hoping to differentiate himself from his sister. However, he ultimately failed, and, too ashamed to tell his sister this, Juni stayed out of contact for seven years. In the meantime, Carmen continued working at OSS, becoming a member of the adult spy unit once she had outgrown the Spy Kids program. When Juni is called out of retirement to help defeat All the Time in the World’s villain, Tick Tock, the two work out their differences, ultimately learning to work with one another again.

After the world is again saved in Spy Kids 4, Juni and Carmen announce their plan to revive the Spy Kids program and run it together as co-leaders. This is a fitting end for the pair since their overarching story throughout the first three Spy Kids movies involved learning to treat each other with kindness and to trust and depend on one another. It’s a comfort to know that, as adults, they will continue to raise the coming generations of Spy Kids.

2023 saw the release of Spy Kids: Armageddon, and despite Carmen and Juni’s established role as the leaders of OSS’s Spy Kids program, the duo didn’t make an appearance. Franchise creator Robert Rodriguez explained (via Yahoo) that he wanted to start fresh since it had been over a decade since the release of Spy Kids 4. The new movie needed to be about this generation of remarkable kids, and the OG sibling pair didn’t fit in with that. However, Rodriguez also stated that all the Spy Kids movies exist within the same universe. Therefore, it’s always possible that future installments will include members of the legacy cast, including Carmen and Juni.

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