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The ‘Blue Beetle’ Trailer Is Here, but Does It Excite?

The ‘Blue Beetle’ Trailer Is Here, but Does It Excite?

It’s another ordinary day in Hollywood, the sky is blue, the palm trees are swaying, and I got to preview the brand new, super secret trailer for Warner Brother’s highly anticipated Blue Beetle

I admit, I wasn’t as versed in this particular DC superhero, but the more I learn the more my excitement grows. He’s an infusion of freshness that DC needs after a run of unimpressive features. 

If you’re unfamiliar, the Blue Beetle we meet is the third incarnation, created in 2006 by DC Comics. Jaime Reyes is a young teenager who discovers the mysterious Blue Beetle scarab. He learns that when activated not only does it morph into a suit of protective battle gear, but it also allows for time travel in space! The film marks one of the projects in DC’s Elseworlds, alternative universe stories that exist before and during Crisis on Infinite Earths

The film also signifies the last films before the James Gunn era officially begins. Blue Beetle along with Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and Joker: Folie a Deux will be transitory films that will mark a new direction for DC. In the comics Blue Beetle joins Teen Titans so it’s hopeful that we’ll see that come to fruition in future projects. 

The trailer itself is magnificent. Though I know Blue Beetle is a DC property, I got Ms. Marvel vibes from the trailer. The family dynamic mixed with the world of superheroes creates such a strong bond to the film. At the beginning of the trailer we see Jaime going for an interview and his family is literally cheering for him as he goes in. Later his dad (George Lopez) says, “You were supposed to be getting us a job!” The “us” implies a familiar connection (and intrusion) that is delightful to see in a film like this. We also see that Blue Beetle will get his own city. Like Batman’s Gotham or Superman’s Metropolis, what was once El Paso is now the beautiful Palmera City

Other than the rumor that Susan Sarandon will play the villainous Victoria Kord (a potential relative of former Blue Beetle Ted Kord?), there’s little that’s known officially about the project. Thankfully we got more answers. During the special early access Q&A we got to ask questions of director Angel Manuel Soto and the Blue Beetle himself, Xolo Maridueña

Moderated by actor and comics fan Tiffany Smith, the panel discussed the amazing cast, Jaime having a city of his own to protect, and how the family is unique, but also relatable. 

What makes this amazing cast so special?

Angel Manuel Soto: One thing that we really wanted to do with the cast was to be as authentic as we could. We wanted to tap into the three generations of this immigrant family. Xolo [Jaime] was born here, and he’s Mexican American. And so is Belissa, who plays Milagros the sister. Then you have characters like George Lopez, who’s been here for a minute, and he’s like, a national treasure! And Elpidia [Carrillo] who plays the mom — George plays the uncle — and then I really wanted to get what I consider to be the best actor from Mexico City, which is [Adriana] Barraza. So I really wanted to bring all the people I really respect from Mexico that inspired me to become a filmmaker. 

More about the cast chemistry.

Soto: We wanted to be as authentic as possible, not the Hallmark cookie cutter Latinos. Something that feels like, yeah, that’s my uncle, I can totally relate. [The cast] took the film and they made it theirs. They took their fun very seriously, and I think that’s one of the things that I really love about working together with Xolo. That authentic chemistry from a collective feels like something I grew up with. 

Xolo Maridueña: We see some of these other superheroes who were able to hide from their family the fact that they’re a superhero. But as you’ll see in the trailer, [Jaime’s] family is right there from the first transformation, so to come through this journey together is something that we haven’t seen before in superhero movies. That really is the beating heart of this movie. It was my first time being a superhero, and coming into a character like this — you’ll see in the movie — it can’t happen without the family. And I think that’s a theme that — whether or not you’re Latino — transcends ethnicity, transcends color of skin. I think that’s something that we can all relate to. It’s undeniably and unapologetically Latino, everyone will understand Milagros, everyone will understand Jaime because they are people who we’ve interacted with in our daily life. The problems that they’re facing are problems that we know. The stuff that you see in this movie is all very tangible and feels rooted in today’s world. 

Soto: My culture is not a buzzword. You know, we exist and we coexist. It’s always nice to see something that we’re kind of used to seeing with other superheroes that we love and cherish, but what if we see it my way? Our way? Latino is not a genre, so this is a superhero film that happens to have Latinos at the core of it. 

Why Soto choose IMAX expanded aspect ratio.

Soto: Because IMAX is the sh*t! [Laughs.] It’s just an immersive aspect, right? I try to be as immersive as I can with the projects that I do. And the scope of IMAX allows you to be swallowed up into the frame. It almost feels like my relationship with cinema. It’s very spiritual in a way. So it always feels like you can have a physical connection to it. In the same way that we try our best to bring the audience in, and come up to this dance with the stories and the characters, IMAX just makes it like if you’re dancing with your partner. I’m used to being involved with people, but when you’re dancing with your partner, it feels like you’re dancing with just me along in the room with it. 

How is Xolo preparing for the changes his life will endure?

Maridueña: A lot of it honestly is just spending time with my family. I’ve been blessed that my friends and family I’ve had most of my life. I feel fairly well adjusted. I understand the social part of it, and the effect that being part of a world like DC has on an individual, but at the end of the day, there’s nothing that brings me more joy than getting to sit and watch a movie with my family. Also, I understand that the movie is not about me, but it’s about opening the door. And it’s about showing a group of people that you deserve to have your story be told and you are just as important as stories that we’ve been seeing for years. 

Check out the trailer below:

Blue Beetle will swarm into theaters August 18th. 

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