Among superheroes, Blue Beetle is pretty far down the list when it comes to name recognition in the real world. Both Shazam! and Black Adam have bigger followings, and that didn’t exactly work out for them at the box office. So why is Blue Beetle getting a big-screen movie and not the HBO Max original film that he was originally supposed to get? Two reasons, really. First, the titular Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes, will now be the first Hispanic superhero to headline his own DC movie. And second, Jaime is played by Xolo Maridueña, a real rising star thanks to his stint on Cobra Kai. Between Xolo and his character, this film might have something.
The trailer goes over Jaime’s superhero origin and makes significant changes to it as well. For one thing, he wasn’t surrounded by his extended family in the comics when he first underwent his transformation into Blue Beetle. As seen here, it’s as if the alien armor is growing from underneath his skin, and it’s somewhat unsettling. But the key takeaway is that Jaime’s family will be much more involved with the plot than they were in the comics.
That brings us to the villain, Susan Sarandon’s Victoria Kord. Her last name is also the family name of the previous Blue Beetle, Ted Kord, so it’s probably not a coincidence that she claims that the alien Scarab is hers. Victoria is also an invention of this film, so there isn’t a comic book counterpart to compare her with. So far, she seems like a fairly generic and one-note corporate adversary. That could actually work if the film’s focus is largely on Jaime and his comedic hijinks. Superhero flicks don’t have to be about high stakes as long as they’re fun.
George Lopez is co-starring in the film as Jaime’s uncle, Rudy, with Adriana Barraza as Nana, Damián Alcázar as Alberto, Elpidia Carrillo as Rocio, Bruna Marquezine as Jenny, and Raoul Max Trujillo as Carapax the Indestructible Man.
Blue Beetle was directed by Angel Manuel Soto from a script by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer. It will hit theaters on Friday, August 18.
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