This was a make-or-break year for what remains of the DCEU. With four films arriving ahead of James Gunn’s relaunch with DC Studios, the first, Shazam! Fury of the Gods was a dud. That puts the remaining films even more under the microscope than before. Perhaps working in the favor of Blue Beetle is that it’s coming out of the gate with a brand new character, a fresh young cast, and there’s the chance that audiences will be anxious to give it a shot.
Originally an HBO Max exclusive, Warner Bros. Discovery decided it was worthy of a big screen release rather than outright cancellation like Batgirl. So at least we know the studio has some confidence in the film. Cobra Kai actor Xolo Maridueña as Latinx teenage Jaime Reyes, who is granted an extraordinary suit of armor from an alien blue scarab.
DC really could’ve gone a couple of ways with this. The most recognizable version of Blue Beetle is Ted Kord, a mainstay DC Comics hero but also kind of bland as a character. It’s interesting that he’s not in this movie anywhere, though.
Also in the cast are Susan Sarandon, George Lopez, Bruna Marquezine, Belissa Escobedo, Adriana Barraza, Elpidia Carrillo, Damián Alcázar, and Raoul Trujillo. Behind the camera is director Angel Manuel Soto, making big moves after his critically-acclaimed drama Charm City Kings.
Will there be connections to the wider DCU? We’ll find out when Blue Beetle hits theaters on August 18th.