Four Join Chan's The Spy Next Door

Valletta, Lopez, Cyrus and Boecher

Regular readers may know that the Empire glass is almost always half-full. But now and again a movie comes along that sounds so toe-curlingly awful that we try to banish it from our minds, in the hope that if we don’t mention it, Hollywood might forget to make it.

Sadly, that doesn’t work, and so here we are, informing you that George Lopez, Billy Ray Cyrus, Amber Valletta and Katherine Boecher – at least two of whom are very rich and don’t need the money – have signed on to appear alongside Jackie Chan and his incredible disappearing dignity in The Spy Next Door, an action comedy from hack extraordinaire, Brian Levant.

If you recall, the movie appears to be a cross between Home Alone and The Pacifier that sees Chan forced to protect his neighbour’s kids from nasty secret agents after one of them downloads a secret code off the internet.

Chan’s been on board for a while. As for the newcomers, Lopez will play a mysterious CIA agent, Cyrus will also play an achy breaky agent (sorry), Valletta will play the mother of the kids, and Boecher will play a Russian underworld operative.

Of course, there’s always the chance that we might be being too harsh on the movie – after all, it’s clearly intended to be a kids’ comedy, while Lopez, in particular, is a fine comic actor.

But Chan’s track record with English-language family comedies is execrable (as anyone who saw The Tuxedo will know), while the presence of Levant behind the camera is never a good sign. When Beethoven is the best film on a director’s CV, you know you’re in trouble…

Filming is currently taking place in Albuquerque.