Warners’ Blue Beetle is heading for the big screen.
The studio’s comic book adaptation will be premiering in theaters on August 18, 2023, a move away from its originally announced premier as content for the studio’s HBO Max streaming service.
Cobra Kai‘s Xolo Maridueña is set to star as Jamie Reyes, an average Latino teenager who finds an pieece of alien technology that looks like a blue scarab, which can create a weaponized armor around him. The scarab has an artificial intelligence that is geared towards war and violence, leaving Jamie to sometimes having to fight with it for control.
Angel Manuel Soto is directing and Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer providing the screenplay.
The Jamie Reyes version of the character is the third iteration of the superhero. The original version of the Blue Beetle actually debuted from Fox Comics in Mystery Men Comics #1 in 1939. The original Blue Beetle was a police officer named Dan Garrett who fought crime using a bulletproof costume and a special vitamin that gave him superhuman strength and stamina (the vitamin was later replaced by a mystic scarab). At the height of his popularity, the character was also spun off into a newspaper comic strip and a radio drama. Following World War II, superheroes somewhat fell out of favor, and the character bounced around between publishers until it ended up at Charleton Comics in the mid-1950s, where he was reinvented as Ted Kord, an industrial genius and gifted athlete who fought crime with gadgets and weapons instead of super powers. DC Comics acquired the character in 1983 and used the Ted Kord version of the character for years before introducing Jaime Reyes into continuity.
The move can be seen as a show of support for the project from Warner Brothers, getting it into theaters where the studio thinks it can do better business than just bringing new subscribers or keeping current ones active with the streaming service. Warner Brothers is currently developing a number of other projects including Batgirl for HBO Max.