With a director on board in Charm City Kings‘ Angel Manuel Soto, DC’s planned Blue Beetle movie – which like Batgirl is taking aim at HBO Max across the pond – has moved on to the casting stage. Xolo Maridueña, currently best known as Cobra Kai‘s Miguel Diaz, has scored the central role of Jaime Reyes.

Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer wrote the script for the film, which will adapt the more recent version of the Blue Beetle character. Originally created by artist Charles Nicholas Wojtkoski and writer Will Eisner for Fox Comics’ Mystery Men Comics in 1939, Blue Beetle was introduced as Dan Garret, a vigilante who fought crime using powers gained from chemical compound Vitamin 2-X, though that origin was later retconned to an archeologist with a suit and abilities derived from the alien Khaji Da scarab living weapon. He was succeeded by tech whizz Ted Kord, first appearing in Charlton Comics (which bought Fox and was itself later taken over by DC).

The Jaime Reyes version, a creation of Keith Giffen, John Rogers and Cully Hamner for 2006’s Infinite Crisis Issue 5, spawned a titular title two months later in May of that year. In his story, Reyes discovered the Blue Beetle scarab on the way home from school with two of his best friends Paco and Brenda, half-buried in a disused lot. Reyes took the scarab home, curious as to what it might be. That night, the scarab came alive, and grafted itself to the base of Jaime’s spine, and provided him with a suit of extraterrestrial armour, which can be modified to enhance his speed and strength, as well as to create weapons, wings and shields.

Cameras should be rolling early next year, with Blue Beetle representing the first leading Latino superhero character to score their own film. Cobra Kai‘s fourth season, meanwhile, should be on our screens later this year.

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