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News and Entertainment

Puerto Rican Director Ángel Manuel Soto Will Direct Blue Beetle, the First Latino Superhero Movie

Update 3/18/2022:

George Lopez, Adriana Barraza, Elpidia Carrillo and Damián Alcázar have joined the cast includes Xolo Maridueña, Brazilian actress Bruna Marquezine, Belissa Escovedo and Harvey Guillén. The film hits theatres August 18, 2023.

They join a cast that includes Xolo Maridueña, Brazilian actress Bruna Marquezine, Belissa Escovedo and Harvey Guillén.

When new broke that Disney was releasing Encanto, a film about a family in Colombia, it felt like a major step toward better representation. Now we can add Latinx superheroes to the mix with the recent announcement that actress Sasha Calle will be playing Supergirl and that the iconic Blue Beetle is coming to the big screen.  DC Films has announced not only that it will be bringing the story of Blue Beetle to the big screen, but that they’ve also recruited Puerto Rican director Ángel Manuel Soto to direct the upcoming film, Variety reported. Though Blue Beetle is known to be one of the oldest comic book superheroes, the Mexican-American character will be the first Latino superhero to appear in a DC superhero movie. In fact, neither DC or Marvel have featured a Latino lead character in any of their films. Mexican-born Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer (Miss Bala) will write the screenplay and Zev Foreman (Dallas Buyers Club) will serve as executive producer.

Soto, who directed Charm City Kings, which debuted on HBO Max to much acclaim in 2020, is tasked with bringing the story of teenager Jaime Reyes to life in the film which is set to start production this coming fall. “His powers come from a mysterious scarab that binds to Reyes’ spine and provides him with a powerful suit of blue alien armor that can also equip him with bespoke weapons and wings,” Variety reports.

“It is an honor to direct Blue Beetle, the first Latino superhero film for DC,” the 38-year-old Soto who hails from Santurce, Puerto Rico, told the The Wrap. “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,” he said. He also flooded his Instagram story and Twitter feed with reposts from friends and admirers exclaiming over the announcement and his involvement.

The film will undoubtedly be a big deal for Latinx audiences who have yet to experience this sort of representation in the vast world of superhero films, but also for comic fans excited to see Blue Beetle’s story as a major motion picture. Blue Beetle has served as the alter ego for three different DC superheroes and although the character originated in 1939, the film will focus on the Reyes version of the superhero, which was introduced in print in 2006.

After DC Films announced the film as well as Soto’s involvement on Tuesday, excitement quickly swirled in the entertainment world, with may people taking to social media to congratulate the director who made it into the Los Angeles Times “Faces of 2020” roundup just a couple of months ago. “To see a Boricua, @angelmanuelsoto, take the reigns (sic) on the studio’s first Latin-led superhero film is surreal and awe-inspiring,” said Twitter user Marcos Melendez. As Soto is fond of saying on social media, this is definitely big news #fortheculture and something to be celebrated by Latinx film lovers and comic devotees.