Actor-comedian George Lopez, Academy Award nominee Adriana Barraza, Elpidia Carrillo and Damián Alcázar have joined the cast of “Blue Beetle,” DC Films and Warner Bros.’ first superhero movie starring a Latino character, TheWrap has exclusively learned.
“Cobra Kai” breakout Xolo Maridueña is set to star in the lead role of Jaime Reyes. Lopez is playing the role of Uncle Rudy, Barraza is playing Nana, Carrillo is playing Rocio and Alcázar is playing Alberto. The four round out the rest of the Reyes family which includes Bellisa Escobedo who plays Milagro.
They join a cast that includes Brazilian actress Bruna Marquezine and Harvey Guillén.
The intent was always to cast the multigenerational Reyes family authentically Mexican and Mexican-American, according to director Angel Manuel Soto.
“Initially, my goal with finding the family was to be able to have an authentic group of people, not just as authentic on the Latino side, but authentic on the accents and authentic on the experience overall, it was very important for me to have the elders in the family to be from Mexico,” Soto tells TheWrap. “And more than just being from Mexico is honoring those amazing beloved actors from Mexico that have paved the way not just in Latin American cinema, but also crossing over to the Anglo Saxon community and Latin American community in the United States.”
Soto added: “And then you have somebody on the younger side, the new blood that’s coming in, like Belissa and Xolo, they’re Mexican American, and tying them with the guys that came before which have a strong history of being born in Mexico and then coming over to the US. Being able to provide a Mexican family, a brown Mexican family, that embraces that level of authenticity, I think this cast allowed us to have all of that.”
“Charm City Kings” director Angel Manuel Soto is set to direct. The screenplay is from Mexican writer Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, who wrote Universal’s “Scarface” remake and Sony’s “Miss Bala.” John Rickard is the producer.
“Blue Beetle” is set to be released theatrically on Aug. 18, 2023.
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.
Lopez is best known for his “George Lopez” sitcom which ran on ABC from 2002-2007, and for his standup specials including “We’ll Do It for Half” at Netflix.
Barraza was the third Mexican actress to be nominated for an Academy Award, in a year when ten fellow Mexicans were nominated at the 79th Academy Awards. Her two most recognizable films are “Amores Perros” and “Babel“; the latter garnered her nominations for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award. Her recent film credits include Robert Rodriguez’s “We Can Be Heroes,” Paramount Picture’s “Dora the Explorer”, “Rambo V” opposite Sylvester Stallone and the independent film “Monica” opposite Patricia Clarkson, which will premiere at the 2022 Venice Film Festival.
Carrillo is best known for her lead role in the iconic action film, the original “Predator,” and she also just finished a 3 season recurring on “Mayans” and still continues to recur on “Euphoria.” She was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award as best female lead in the film Oliver Stone directed “Salvador.” Other credits include “Bread and Roses,” “Nine Lives” “Mi Familia” and “Seven Pounds.”
Alcázar is best known for portraying Colombian drug lord Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela in the Netflix series “Narcos,” and for playing Lord Sopespian in “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.”
Lopez is repped by UTA and 3 Arts Entertainment. Barraza is repped by Innovative and manager Ivan DePaz of DePaz management. Carrillo is repped by Ideal Talent. Alcazar is repped by Atlas Artists and Talent on the Road management.