We’ve known for a while that Warner Bros. is setting up a Blue Beetle movie. We’ve also known that it will be one of the films that will bypass a traditional theatrical release and go direct to HBO Max (see also: a Batgirl movie and Birds of Prey spinoff Black Canary).
Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer (Miss Bala) is writing the script, with Angel Manuel Soto (Charm City Kings) directing, and Blue Beetle will focus on the Jaime Reyes version of the character, making him the first Latinx superhero to lead his own movie. It’s the story of a teenager who finds a mysterious scarab, a powerful piece of technology (or is it magic?) that bonds to him and grants him the powers of a legendary hero. Xolo Maridueña will play Jaime in the film.
A segment at DC FanDome with the writer, director, and star hyped up the film nicely, and also gave us this amazing piece of concept art featuring not one, but TWO heroes. Wait, what? Yes. Read on….
Well, that sure is Jaime’s comic book look brought faithfully to life. The whole thing about this version of Blue Beetle is that there’s always been an almost anime or Super Sentai sensibility to the suit. The fact that Jaime transforms with the help of a super-advanced piece of technology into a completely encased superhero certainly brings franchises like Power Rangers to mind. He’s a character who has been seemingly begging for a live-action adaptation since he was first introduced back in 2006.
But see that prominent sign for Kord Industries in the background? Ted Kord is a hero who held the Blue Beetle name for many years, and it’s cool to see that there will be a legacy element to this movie, as well. There’s no doubt that this is Jaime’s film, but it seems that Ted Kord will be a presence in the film. Ted was a non-superpowered version of Blue Beetle, and fun fact, the character of Nite Owl in Watchmen was in fact based on the Ted Kord Blue Beetle.
While in the original Jaime origin story, he didn’t become Blue Beetle until after Ted Kord was dead, recent comic book retcons mean that Ted is still alive, and acting as an occasional mentor to Jaime. Interestingly, Ted was at one point supposed to be the focus of a different film, one that would have teamed up Blue Beetle and Booster Gold in what was described at the time as a “superhero buddy cop movie.”
But Ted wasn’t the first Blue Beetle either! Before Ted, there was ANOTHER Blue Beetle, a college professor and archaeologist named Dan Garrett, and the scarab that empowers Jaime was originally his. Will Dan Garrett also make an appearance in this movie?
What’s interesting is that Blue Beetle will be the second DCEU movie getting the spotlight at DC FanDome that hints at a history of DCEU heroes going back before the days of Batman and Superman. Black Adam will introduce a modern day incarnation of the JSA, themselves legacy heroes, and here we apparently will have Ted Kord. Whether Ted is an actual presence in the film, and whether he ever had the superheroic Blue Beetle mantle remains to be seen. In any case, this is Jaime’s movie, and any other Beetles who may or may not appear will be supporting characters, and they’re not the real story here. Still, it’s fun to see that there may be a longer legacy of superheroes than what we’ve seen onscreen so far!
It may be a while before we find out, as it doesn’t appear that we’ll see the Blue Beetle movie before 2023. But we can’t wait.