DC fans got a long-awaited piece of news on Monday, when reports indicated that Cobra Kai actor Xolo Maridueña was in talks to star in HBO Max's upcoming Blue Beetle movie. The idea of getting to see Maridueña play Jaime Reyes — a character comic fans have been eager to see get his own movie — has already captivated the Internet, but some were awaiting confirmation that he would be playing the part. Luckily, on Monday night, that confirmation arrived, as Maridueña made an appearance at the red carpet premiere of The Suicide Squad. According to a tweet from The Hollywood Reporter's Aaron Couch, Maridueña learned he had earned the role just the night before, in a dinner with director Angel Manuel Soto and Warner Bros. execs.
The Blue Beetle film will follow Jaime, who in the comics is the third character to take on the role of Blue Beetle following the death of Ted Kord. Reports around Maridueña's casting indicates that the film is expected to begin production 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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