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Angel Manuel Soto to direct DCEU Blue Beetle movie

Angel Manuel Soto to direct DCEU Blue Beetle movie
A Blue Beetle movie is coming. Pic credit: DC Comics

Warner Bros is continuing to expand on the DCEU with a variety of unique projects in the works.

Now, it’s confirmed that Angel Manuel Soto will direct a Blue Beetle movie, focusing on DC’s popular Latino comic book character.

The Beetle’s path

The Blue Beetle has seen several incarnations over 80 years of publication.

The original Beetle first appeared in 1939 for the now-defunct Charlton Comics. He was Dan Garrett, who gained superpowers from a mystical scarab to fight crime. 

In 1966, a new Beetle debuted in Ted Kord. A millionaire inventor, Kord used a flying “Bug” craft and a variety of gadgets to fight crime. When Charlton Comics folded, the character was integrated into the DC Universe in his own title. 

The character became highly popular as part of the humor-filled Justice League International in the 1980s. This included his partnership with goofy time-traveler Booster Gold.

Ted met a brutal end in 2005’s Infinite Crisis event. The same event introduced Jamie Reyes, a teenager who gained control of an alien scarab to become an armored hero. Jamie named himself the Beetle in honor of Ted and has worked with the Titans and the Justice League. 

As part of DC’s “Rebirth” storyline in 2018, Ted Kord was returned to life and became a mentor to Jamie. The character has also appeared in the Young Justice cartoon.

Bringing the Beetle to life

Blue Beetle comic book
Blue Beetle comic book. Pic credit: DC Comics

The movie will focus on the Jamie version of Beetle and is the second-live action version of the character. 

Jaren Brandt Bartlett played Jamie in a tenth-season episode of Smallville where he is a teen infected by the alien parasite to take on an armored form. Notably, the name “Blue Beetle” is never used in the episode. 

The original pitch for Alan Moore’s classic Watchmen mini-series was to use the Charlton characters. When that was changed, the Beetle character became Nite-Owl (complete with flying craft).

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Soto’s pride

The movie promises to explore Jamie’s Latino heritage. It is unsure if Ted Kord will make an appearance. The script is by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, who wrote Universal’s Scarface remake and Miss Bala.

Soto, who directed the acclaimed 2020 film Charm City Kings, has already spoken of the honor of making this film. 

“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.”

The project was first announced in November of 2018, but there has been little headway until now.

It had been announced that Beetle, along with Constantine would be featured in animated shorts attached to DC’s direct-to-video animated films.

Warner Bros has yet to announce any casting or even a possible release date, but the addition of a writer and director shows there is a new push for Blue Beetle to take flight in the DCEU. 

Michael Weyer


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