Blue Beetle is a 2023 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character Jaime Reyes / Blue Beetle, produced by DC Studios and The Safran Company. The film was directed by Ángel Manuel Soto and written by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer. It is the 14th installment of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). The film stars Xolo Maridueña as Jaime Reyes / Blue Beetle alongside Bruna Marquezine, Adriana Barraza, Damián Alcázar, Raoul Max Trujillo, Susan Sarandon, and George Lopez.
Development of a film featuring Reyes began by the end of November 2018 with Dunnet-Alcocer attached. Soto was hired to direct the film in February 2021 for the streaming service HBO Max. Maridueña was cast that August, and the film was changed to have a theatrical release in December. Further casting took place in early 2022, before filming took place from late May to mid-July at Wilder Studios in Decatur, Georgia, as well as in El Paso, Texas, and Puerto Rico.
Blue Beetle premiered in El Paso, Texas on August 15, 2023, and was released in the United States on August 18, 2023, by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised Maridueña’s performance.
Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Films were developing a film based on Jaime Reyes / Blue Beetle by the end of November 2018, with Mexican-born Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer writing the screenplay. Zev Foreman was executive producing the project for Warner Bros., which was set to be the first DC Extended Universe (DCEU) film as well as the first live-action superhero film starring a Latino lead. By December 2020, DC Films was planning to release several mid-budget films a year exclusively on the streaming service HBO Max, rather than in theaters, as part of new DC Films president Walter Hamada’s plan for the DCEU, with Blue Beetle listed as one such project in 2021. Puerto Rican director Angel Manuel Soto was hired to direct the film in February 2021. During a call received from Warner Bros., Soto had pitched various ideas, including a film about Bane’s origin story, but Warner Bros. had intended for him to direct a film based on Reyes’ Blue Beetle. In April, Blue Beetle was included on DC’s slate of films that were expected to be released in 2022 or 2023. John Rickard, the president of production at the Safran Company, was producing the film for HBO Max by that August, when filming was expected to begin in early 2022. In December 2021, Warner Bros. revealed that the film would be receiving a theatrical release in August 2023 instead of being produced directly for HBO Max; Though the film was originally intended to be released as an HBO Max exclusive, the studio decided to release it theatrically after they enjoyed Soto’s creative vision. In mid-April 2022, Soto and cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski visited El Paso, Texas, to meet with local artists, muralists, musicians, and historians to understand the feel of the city. Peter Safran was revealed as a producer that October, and worked on the film until he became the co-chairman and co-CEO of DC Studios alongside James Gunn the next month; Rickard and Foreman were credited as the producers.
- Xolo Maridueña as Jaime Reyes / Blue Beetle:
A teenage college graduate who gains superpowers when an alien Blue Beetle scarab grafts onto him, forming a powerful reconfiguring exoskeleton around his body.
- Bruna Marquezine as Jenny Kord, Victoria’s niece and Ted’s daughter, who is also Jaime’s love interest. Isabella Aparicio portrays a younger Jenny.
- Adriana Barraza as Nana: Jaime’s grandmother
- Damián Alcázar as Alberto Reyes: Jaime’s father
- Raoul Max Trujillo as Ignacio Carapax / OMAC: A bodyguard working for Victoria Kord. Ayden Rivera portrays a child Carapax while Xol Gonzalez portrays a teen Carapax.
- Susan Sarandon as Victoria Kord:
A businesswoman and the sister of Ted Kord who is hellbent on acquiring the Scarab. Sarandon says Victoria represents the theme of “imperialism in the name of democracy”, and that she is driven by a need to be ambitious and prove herself, after her brother mysteriously disappears and leaves his company behind.
- George Lopez as Rudy Reyes: Jaime’s uncle
August 17, 2023
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