The DC universe has finally found its Blue Beetle. On Monday, it was announced via The Wrap that Cobra Kai star Xolo Maridueña has been cast as Jaime Reyes, who will make his debut in a live-action Blue Beetle movie on HBO Max. Blue Beetle will be directed by Charm City Kings' Angel Manuel Soto, and written by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer. The film would follow Jaime, who in the comics is the third character to take on the role of Blue Beetle following the death of Ted Kord. The report indicates that the film is expected to begin filming early next year.
Created by Keith Giffen, John Rogers, and Cully Hammer, Jaime's tenure significantly changed the Blue Beetle lore, revealing that the Egyptian scarab that gives the hero powers is actually alien in origin, and provided a sort of extraterrestrial suit of armor. Eventually, Jaime would go on to serve as a member of the Justice League, Justice League International, Teen Titans, Young Justice, and Secret Six.
This will be the second time that the character appeared in live-action, as he previously was portrayed by Jaren Brandt Bartlett on Smallville. The character has appeared multiple times across animation, including Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice: Invasion, DC Super Hero Girls, and Justice League Action.
The nature of Blue Beetle's modern live-action debut has been speculated about for several years now, with various adaptations of the mantle and its various characters being in the works. First was a Blue Beetle and Booster Gold team-up movie, which would have focused on the Ted Kord incarnation of the character, in 2017. A Jaime Reyes movie was then rumored to be in development in 2018, with Dunnet-Alcocer attached to pen the script at that time. An HBO Max series starring Jaime was also rumored in January of 2020.
Blue Beetle would be just one of several DC movies set to debut on HBO Max, with a Batgirl movie starring Leslie Grace, as well as a Static Shock movie already reported to be exclusive to the streaming service.
"HBO Max presents a huge opportunity for DC," Warner Bros. Picture Group Chair Toby Emmerich revealed in an interview earlier this year. "It allows us to make high-quality mid-budget superhero movies that reintroduce lesser-known DC titles, while also crossing over stand-out characters from our bigger films into original series. Connecting the DC cinematic universe with Max gives our fans more ways to explore the DC multiverse and more chances to enjoy more great stories with these beloved characters."
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