The movie and TV industries are still reeling from the shocking news that Warner Bros had decided to scrap the release of Batgirl, which had already completed filming. It starred Dominican actress Leslie Grace, prompting concern about other upcoming DCEU projects that don’t centre around the established white male heroes. One such movie is Blue Beetle, about a Mexican-American superhero.
“I’m not going to lie. There was concern, anger, fear at first,” Puerto Rican director Angel Manuel Soto told NPR. He says that the studio execs have reassured him that Blue Beetle won’t suffer the same fate as Batgirl. “They told me not to worry, the film has their full support.” Actor Xolo Maridueña stars as Jaime Reyes, who becomes Blue Beetle when he’s implanted with super-powered alien armour. “He’s kind of like a fusion of Green Lantern and Iron Man. He has a scarab from outer space that is attached to his body called Khaji da.”
The 21-year-old actor, who also stars in Cobra Kai, says Blue Beetle is one of the oldest characters in the DC Universe. But this is a new spin on the character. “He’s a first-generation Mexican-American kid from El Paso, Texas,” Maridueña explains.
Gareth Dunnet Alcocer wrote the screenplay for Blue Beetle, which follows the journey of Reyes and his entire family. “What would my Mom do if an alien technology burrowed into my spine? She would not think it’s cool,” says Alcocer. “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.'”
It’s good that the filmmakers behind Blue Beetle have been reassured by Warner Bros, but it’s not a nice situation for any creatives to be in at the moment. Feeling like your completed TV show or movie can have the rug pulled from under it, is a horrible place to be.
While we wait for the release of Blue Beetle in 2023, check out our guide to how to watch the Batman movies in order.