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‘Blue Beetle’ trailer sparks excitement over DC’s first live-action Latino superhero

The Warner Bros. movie features “Cobra Kai” star Xolo Maridueña as Jaime Reyes, the college grad who takes up the mantle of the Blue Beetle.
Xolo Maridueña as Jaime Reyes, with an ancient alien artifact known as the Scarab.
Xolo Maridueña as Jaime Reyes, with an ancient alien artifact known as the Scarab.Warner Bros. Pictures

DC Comics fans are getting a first look at the upcoming “Blue Beetle” film, starring the first Latino live-action superhero, to be released in the summer.

Warner Bros. unveiled the first trailer for the highly anticipated movie featuring “Cobra Kai” star Xolo Maridueña as Jaime Reyes, a college grad who takes up the mantle of the “Blue Beetle.”

As shown in the trailer, Reyes comes into contact with an ancient alien artifact, known as the Scarab, when he returns home to Palmera City after graduating college. Reyes is chosen by the Scarab as its symbiotic host, attaching itself to his spine and giving him a bio-mechanical blue suit of armor with extraordinary powers.

In the comics, Jaime Reyes is of Mexican American heritage and lives in El Paso, Texas. He is the third iteration of the “Blue Beetle” series hero, first introduced in 2006 as a part of DC Comics “Teen Titans.”

Fans took to social media to express their excitement.

“Miles Morales, Namor & Now Blue Beetle! Loving the Latino/Afro Latino representation in the superhero genre,” one Twitter user wrote. “Oh, this movie is going to be epic," one TikTok user said in a post regarding the trailer.

In contrast to superheroes who keep their identity a secret from family and friends, Reyes’ family members know he’s the titular superhero from the start. Actually, they are with him when he first transforms into “Blue Beetle.”

Bruna Marquezine plays his love interest, Penny, while Raoul Trujillo is the villain Carapax the Indestructible Man. Susan Sarandon portrays the main villain, Victoria Kord. (In the comics, she’s the sister of the previous owner of the Scarab, Ted Kord.)

The Reyes version of "Blue Beetle" is notable for being one of the most prominent Latino superheroes in comics; the film is directed by a Latino and will feature a predominantly Latino cast including George Lopez, Adriana Barraza, Elpidia Carrillo, Damián Alcázar and Belissa Escobedo as Reyes’ family members. 

The movie is directed by Angel Manuel Soto, best known for the 2020 drama “Charm City Kings." Soto told reporters and audience members at a recent Q&A that the film is “unapologetically Latino," IGN reported.

Soto explained that he wanted to tap into three generations of Reyes’ immigrant family and make them central to the film, while making them relatable to all audience members.

“Whether or not you’re Latino, it transcends ethnicity, it transcends color or skin because that’s something that we can all relate [to],” Soto said. “We are not a genre and we’re not a buzzword either. It is a superhero movie that happens to have a Latino at the forefront. That’s it.”

The project was originally intended to be released as an HBO Max original film alongside the now-scrapped “Batgirl,” but was shifted to a theatrical release last year.

Marvel's “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” also had a Latino superhero — Miles Morales — but in contrast to "Blue Beetle," it was an animated movie.

A sequel, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” is scheduled for a June 2 release.

"Blue Beetle" is set to debut in theaters on Aug. 18.