As the DC Extended Universe has been gradually decentralizing to adopt a more anthological storytelling technique, Warner Bros. has now confirmed that one of DC’s oldest superheroes is finally coming to the silver screen with Angel Manuel Soto at the helm. The Charm City Kings director will be working alongside Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer for DCEU’s first-ever Latino superhero movie. Best known for Contrapelo and Miss Bala, the Mexican screenwriter will be writing the script for the upcoming Blue Beetle movie.
Making his first appearance back in 1939, Blue Beetle is one of the oldest DC superheroes. Over the decades, the title has been adopted by three different individuals; Dan Garrett, Ted Kord, and Jaime Reyes. While Ted Kord is undoubtedly the most popular version of the character for his genius intellect and long-standing quirky partnership with Booster Gold, Warner Bros. is reportedly producing the movie with Jaime Reyes’ version of the character. As a Latin-American character, it makes sense to have Angel Manuel Soto and Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer on the project.
Despite being a hugely popular character among comic book fans, Blue Beetle hasn’t enjoyed much success, unlike the other Justice League members. Originally created by Charles Wojtkowski for Fox Comics, the Dan Garrett version was acquired by Charlton Comics when Fox went out of business. In 1966, Charlton Comics introduced Ted Kord as the second character to inherit the mystical scarab and become Blue Beetle. Interestingly, Ted Kord was created by Steve Ditko, the legendary comics artist who co-created Doctor Strange and Spider-Man with Stan Lee. Ted Kord was the inspiration behind Alan Moore’s Nite Owl in his critically acclaimed graphic novel Watchmen.
After the character was finally acquired by DC Comics in the 1980s, the third person to inherit the moniker was Jaime Reyes in 2006 during the Infinite Crisis crossover event. As the son of working-class parents in El Paso, Texas, Jaime Reyes did not have any prior superhero connections before becoming the third Blue Beetle, unlike his predecessors. After accidentally unearthing the mystical scarab, Jaime Reyes unknowingly became the third Blue Beetle when the extraterrestrial sentient scarab fused with his spinal cord and granted him superhuman abilities. Whenever threatened, the scarab becomes a fully-fledged suit of armor with a variety of offensive and defensive manoeuvers including flight, enhanced strength, energy shields, powerful blasts, and melee weapons.
First reported by The Wrap, the Puerto Rican director has expressed his excitement to bring the first-ever Latino superhero to the big screen.
“It is an honor to direct Blue Beetle, the first Latino superhero film for DC. I want to sincerely thank everyone at Warner Bros. and DC for trusting me to bring Jaime Reyes to life. I can’t wait to make history together.”
Having made his debut with El Granja, Angel Manuel Soto is one of the most promising Latino directors in the industry. Since his debut, the director has made riveting works likes Bashir’s Dream and Dinner Party. His latest work, Charm City Kings received critical acclaim and won a Special Jury Award at Sundance 2020. As Blue Beetle played a minor role in Smallville, it would be surely interesting to witness the character on the big screen with a proper back story and an inspiring tale for millions of Latin-Americans across the globe.