“Look at all these pretty brown faces,” Angel Manuel Soto said, staring at a poster the size of a movie screen. blue beetle He presented his new movie about the DC Comics superhero in a special screening in Hollywood this week. And Susan Sarandon.
Soto didn’t mean it as a mockery of Sarandon.
“I love Susan. She’s Ally and she’s just an amazing talent,” Soto later explained to Yahoo Entertainment. “You got it. You got the job.”
Instead, Soto has been calling attention to his culturally pioneering effort: It’s the first major superhero movie led by a Latino cast. Her hero, Jaime Reyes (Cobra Kai Breakout Xolo Maridueña) is a recent college graduate cleaning the homes of the wealthy when he is chosen to become a symbiont host for the Scarab, an ancient alien relic that gives him beautiful blue armor and superpowers. He has a very supportive Mexican immigrant family (Adriana Barraza, Damian Alcazar, Elipidia Carrillo, Belisa Escobedo, and Jorge Lopez). His Brazilian love interest (Bruna Marquezine). The central antagonist is white (hello again, Susan Sarandon), but her bodyguard (Raul Max Trujillo) and chief scientist (Harvey Gillen) are Hispanic.
The film’s originality extends beyond its cast. Written by Mexican-born Gareth Dunnett Alcocer. Soto, who broke ground with the 2020 Sundance Darling/Baltimore Motorcycle drama Kings of Magic Cityfrom San Juan, Puerto Rico.
But, as Soto warns, this is not mean blue beetle It is the best Latin film.
“It would be unfair to say that this is the Latin experience,” he says. “It would be a lie to say that this includes everyone because Latinos are not a monolithic mass. … But even though Gareth is Mexican and I am Puerto Rican, and we have very specific cultural idiosyncrasies and elements that set us apart, we realized as we worked together that (there) was more.” That bind us (more than) divide us. And by honing in on the things that unite us as a Latino experience, I think we’ve been able to find a lot of universality in our privacy.
And by doing it in this way, we felt that if this is hopefully the first of many stories our communities tell that can actually explore the millions of issues, concepts, and experiences that exist in the Latino community, then let it be the first of many. Impossible. He did it all in one movie, but it’s possible to at least try to open the doors to more of those stories, more of those diverse stories even within the Latino community.”
blue beetle It’s not just about breaking down cultural barriers. It’s really good, and it is Drawing rave early It was praised by critics for its lighter, more comical approach to superhero storytelling, with comparisons to Marvel Iron Man And Spider Man movies — and not just because of their respective talking shields or coming-of-age aspects. While Marvel has since embraced the multiverse, and many DC films have become progressively darker, blue beetle “takes itself less seriously than most comic book movies,” he notes diverse. The stakes are lower, too: Jaime doesn’t need to save the world, just his family.
“We definitely wanted to have fun,” Soto says. “If you read the comics, the character in the comics is very funny and weird and his relationship to his environment is similar. So we were like, ‘Why don’t we show the fun of a Latino family? Deep, they are intense and shocking and maybe even triggering for some.But at the end of the day, we also wanted to live in this world that we have so often been left out of experiencing.
That’s why the movie has the essence of a nostalgic throwback to[early superhero]movies. Like with Iron Man, I want to have this experience too. Why do we always have to reinvent the wheel every time Latinos show up? It’s like, why don’t we just have fun, and pay homage to the movies that build us up and see us in (those) places? “
Of course now one of the biggest questions is where blue beetle Fits the larger DC universe? The film began production prior to the seismic change of command that saw James Gunn and Peter Safran (producer on beetle) Take charge and spell the end of the Sniderverse.
says Soto, who has previously stated that he hopes to make a full trilogy. “Meaning by the end of the film, now he can actually enter the new world. But at the beginning we wanted to ground it. We wanted (to use) the language of Latin cinema, to spend time with family, to create empathy, to create connection, to create experiences that last so that we can understand the background. We can We understand everything that surrounds our hero.
And in terms of all the other heroes with all the different alliances that might come in the future in James Gunn’s DC, you have this movie to go back to and figure out what’s the heart of this character. Because at the end of the day, plot is plot. Explosions are explosions. But heart to me is what matters most. “.
blue beetle Opens in theaters August 18.