DC Extended Universe started in 2013, and now, ten years later, it’s ending after Warner Bros. Discovery decided to start the whole thing all over again with James Gunn and Peter Safran as the CEOs of DC Studios. A new cinematic universe, collectively known as DCU, is set to kick off in July 2025 with ‘Superman: Legacy.’ By the end of this year, DCEU will officially conclude with ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,’ but before that, one other DC movie, ‘Blue Beetle,’ is opening in theaters this weekend. So in this article, we’ll provide an answer on whether is the upcoming ‘Blue Beetle’ movie set in DCEU or DCU.
Blue Beetle is officially the 14th movie set in DC Extended Universe (DCEU). However, given that DCU will be a soft reboot of DCEU, it is expected that Xolo Maridueña will eventually reprise the role in DCU. Although the movie is a part of DCEU, James Gunn announced that Blue Beetle is the first DCU hero since the previous DCEU movie, ‘The Flash,’ was used as the breaking point between those two franchises. DCEU will conclude in December 2023 with ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,’ the 15th and final movie in the franchise. After that, every live-action DC movie will be set in DCU, with the exception of Todd Phillips’ ‘Joker: Folie à Deux’ and Matt Reeves’s ‘The Batman — Part II,’ which are officially considered Elseworlds projects.
Blue Beetle isn’t such a known DC character compared to the original members of the Justice League, like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. However, he still has a very long comic book history, so the executives at WB and DC finally decided he needed his own live-action movie. In the next few paragraphs, we’ll share with you some trivia about how it was decided to give Blue Beetle a movie at this moment and what that could mean for the future of the character on the big screen.
Is this a good time to introduce Blue Beetle to the big screen?
Blue Beetle is a very interesting character who can carry his own movie, no doubt. However, the question is about the timing of getting such a movie now. We all know everything that happened with the DC Extended Universe after the flop of 2017’s Justice League and the unwillingness of WB to restore the Snyderverse after the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League in 2021. After the first Wonder Woman movie and the first Aquaman movie, which became the highest-grossing DC movie to date, WB decided to give more room to solo movies focused on characters that didn’t have much, or any, space on the big screen before.
The development of the ‘Blue Beetle’ movie began in 2018. The movie was already promoted at the DC FanDome event in 2021, where Xolo Maridueña and the director Angel Manuel Soto talked about the preparations for the filming. The project was initially announced as the exclusive for HBOMax before WB announced that the movie would have a regular theatrical release. Interestingly, ‘Blue Beetle’ was announced with the ‘Batgirl’ movie, which was also set to be an HBOMax exclusive before it was ultimately scrapped during post-production.
James Gunn and Peter Safran were hired last year as CEOs of DC Studios, and their task was to plan a new cinematic universe from the ground up. Gunn revealed some of the projects we can expect in the franchise’s Chapter 1, but he also defended the release of these last DCEU movies, even though some fans don’t really care about the movies that are part of the dying franchise. That also resulted in the box-office disappointment of ‘Shazam: Fury of the Gods,’ and ‘The Flash,’ two DCEU movies that were released earlier this year, and the numbers aren’t in ‘Blue Beetle’s’ favor either.
‘Cobra Kai’ star Xolo Maridueña was cast as the title character, and it’s certain that he could play this character for a longer period if the movie turns out to be a critical and, even more important, commercial success. The problem is that the current status and the reputation of DCEU are putting this movie in an unthankful position because we know how much comic book fans love cinematic universes.
If the ‘Blue Beetle’ movie won’t have anything to show that this character is a part of some bigger plan, that could put the movie in a bubble that could easily burst. Still, even though James Gunn announced Blue Beetle as the first DCU hero, it remains to be seen how interested the general audience will be once the movie hits theaters.
Of course, it would be awesome if people would want to watch a movie because of the movie and not because of the franchise, but unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case for years now. Only A-list characters like Batman and Joker can still carry independent movies, which shows why WB didn’t want to throw ‘Joker 2’ and ‘The Batman — Part II’ away for the sake of DCU.
What will the Blue Beetle movie be about?
The ‘Blue Beetle’ movie follows the story of Jaime Reyes, a third character that assumed the mantle of Blue Beetle in the source material. Reyes is a teenager who encounters an alien Blue Beetle scarab that will grab itself onto him, creating a powerful exoskeleton around his body, turning him into a superhero known as the Blue Beetle. Although the character of Blue Beetle has existed since 1939, Jaime Reyes was first introduced in 2006, and this upcoming movie will cover his origin story.
Although officially a part of DCEU, there haven’t been any announcements or rumors that the Blue Beetle movie could feature some guest appearances from the wider DCEU. Still, it’s hard to say if even that would help the movie, considering that not even Wonder Woman’s cameo in Shazam: Fury of the Gods, which was spoiled by the studio itself ahead of the premiere, and Michael Keaton’s return as Batman in ‘The Flash’ couldn’t help the movies’ commercial results. It seems like the producers really want to make this an independent movie. We wish them good luck because only a good financial result can ensure we can see Maridueña as the Blue Beetle in the new DCU, regardless of what Gunn tells us now.
The movie also stars Bruna Marquezine, Belissa Escobedo, George Lopez, Adriana Barraza, Elpidia Carrillo, Damián Alcázar, Raoul Trujillo, and Susan Sarandon, who will play the original villain Victoria Kord. Directed by Angel Manuel Soto, Blue Beetle is set to open in theaters this Friday, August 18, 2023.
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