With $7,000 and guts to spare, Robert Rodriguez made the movie El Mariachi (1992), an action western that made him a star at the Sundance Film Festival and got him a deal with Columbia Pictures. Since then he has established himself as a filmmaker who can deliver mainstream successes from outside of Hollywood (he has a studio near Austin, Texas). By the end of the 1990s he was famous for inventive movies with over-the-top violence: He made Desperado (1995), a sequel to El Mariachi that made American celebrities of Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek); he directed From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), one of George Clooney's early starring roles (written by and co-starring Rodriguez's pal Quentin Tarantino); and he directed the teen horror flick The Faculty (1998, with Elijah Wood and Usher). He then surprised audiences and struck gold with a trio of family movies, Spy Kids (2001), Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (2002) and Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003, all starring Banderas). The success of those movies allowed Rodriguez to build studios near his home in Texas, where he made the digitally-enhanced version of Frank Miller's Sin City (2005, starring Jessica Alba). For the 2007 Grindhouse project he did with Tarantino, Rodriguez directed Planet Terror, a zombie invasion movie starring Rose McGowan.