“Blue Beetle,” DC Films’ first superhero movie starring a Latino character, won’t suffer the same fate as “Batgirl,” and his Warner Bros. Discovery’s “full support,” according to the film’s director, Angel Manuel Soto.
“I’m not going to lie. There was concern, anger, fear at first,” Soto said in an interview with NPR focusing on Latino superheroes. Studio execs assured Soto who added, “They told me not to worry, the film has their full support.”
“Cobra Kai” breakout Xolo Maridueña is set to star in the lead role of Jaime Reyes in “Blue Beetle.”
In the same interview with NPR, Maridueña added that he is a combination of both a DC and Marvel superhero.
“He’s kind of like a fusion of Green Lantern and Iron Man,” Maridueña said. “He has a scarab from outer space that is attached to his body called Khaji da.”
In DC Comics, Blue Beetle is the superhero alter ego used by three different heroes, but the film will focus on Mexican-American teenager Jaime Reyes, the third character to assume the Blue Beetle mantle.
Created by Keith Giffen, John Rogers, and Cully Hamner in 2006, Jaime Reyes was introduced during the “Infinite Crisis” crossover event ahead of the launch of a new “Blue Beetle” in May 2006. Reyes is a working-class El Paso teenager devoted to his family and with no connections to superheroes prior to receiving his powers.
Jaime Reyes discovered the Blue Beetle scarab on the way home from school with two of his best friends Paco and Brenda, half-buried in a disused lot. Reyes took the scarab home, curious as to what it might be. That night, the scarab came alive grafted itself to the base of Jaime’s spine and provided him with a suit of extraterrestrial armor that can be modified to enhance his speed and strength, as well as to create weapons, wings and shields.
“Blue Beetle” screenwriter Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer also touched upon the effect of being a superhero in a Latino family.
“What would my mom do if an alien technology burrowed into my spine?” Dunnet-Alcocer said. “She would not think it’s cool. And for the Reyes family, this is terrible. ‘We’re going to get attention from American institutions, from the government, from military, from the police.’”
“Blue Beetle” is set to be released theatrically on Aug. 18, 2023.