At a private event on the Warner Bros. studio lot, Dorkaholics was invited along with other publications to see an advance preview for the first trailer of Blue Beetle. The event was hosted by DC personality Tiffany Smith who engaged director Angel Manuel Soto and lead actor Xolo Maridueña in a Q&A.
Immediately after the trailer finished playing, attendees were treated to a second play in hopes of noticing things that may have been missed the first time around.
George Lopez’s character Uncle Rudy gives strong classic Uncle Ben vibes, but hopefully that doesn’t mean he’s doomed for a similar fate in order to help Jaime Reyes discover his inner self as a hero. In fact, the plot of Blue Beetle confidently defies the typical plot point of secret identities from one’s family members. And for anyone who has grown up in an immigrant family, it’s common knowledge that the family dynamic makes it hard for secrets to exist as boundaries and privacy is a blurry and often unaddressed or unresolved mess.
But back to Uncle Rudy, his lines are going to be this era’s superhero line: the universe has sent you a gift, but you have to figure out what you’re gonna do with it.
During the Q&A, Soto identified being authentic as a core tenet of this film and that one of the ways he went about this was to tap into 3 generations: the first immigrants, when they bring their children, and the children born in a new country.
In his own words, this film is not a Hallmark cookie cutter.
Although the Jamie Reyes/Blue Beetle stories from the comics tend to take place in El Paso, the filmmakers made a decision to set it in Palmera City with the vision of elevating Blue Beetle to same tier as Superman and Batman with his very own city similar to how those heroes have Metropolis and Gotham City. It’s worth pointing out that Palmera City made its DC debut in the pages of Blue Beetle: Graduation Day.
And while some trailer reactions will claim to feel alienated by this film and its characters, it’s clear to the rest of us that Blue Beetle is for everybody.
Soto said it best: “It’s a feeling. People laugh differently, but it’s still laughter. Latinx is not a genre, we are not a genre.”
POC Culture’s editor-in-chief, Ron Seoul-Oh, asked the pair about their preparation for approaching the responsibility of delivering a superhero communities are excited for.
“We are not a monolith. We’ll never be able to tell everything,” Soto said. “But that doesn’t mean there isn’t connective tissue between all of us, with a collective memory and our blood history. But at the same time it’s not that different from the rest of the world too.”
And for fans that love to see references and homage, they can expect this film to be inspired by the New 52 run of Blue Beetle, the Infinite Crisis storyline, the recent Graduation Day limited series mentioned earlier, and the Injustice 2 video game.
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