DC Comics’ Blue Beetle: Rebirth #1 artwork by Scott Kollins
The DCEU just might be on a winning streak: First, the success of Wonder Woman.Second, great word of mouth on Aquaman (which I’ll be covering shortly). Now, WB has announced that they have greenlit the first Latino superhero film.
As reported by The Wrap, WB is in production on their first Latino superhero film about Jamie Reyes, the Blue Beetle. Miss Bala and Scarface screenwriter, Mexican-born Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, is writing the script.
As The Wrap reports, “[W]hile DC has had Latino characters in its movie universe, (Jay Hernandez as El Diablo in ‘Suicide Squad,’ and Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya in the soon-to be filming ‘Birds of Prey’), this will be the first stand-alone title to feature a Latino lead.”
This is much needed for movie fans, many of whom are Latino. Latino audiences make up a large part of Hollywood’s revenue, yet their routinely underrepresented in terms of on-screen characters. According to the article, Hispanic/Latino audiences “had the highest per-capita attendance at the movies, going to the movies an average of 4.5 times a year” according to MPAA 2017 stats. The article also states that while Latinos are only 18 percent of the population, “they buy 24 percent of the movie tickets sold in the United States.”
“It’s also worth noting, superhero movies tend to draw the most diverse audiences as Latinos made up 22 percent of the audience for ‘Wonder Woman’ and 21 percent of the audience for ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming,'” states the article.
Let’s also not bury one important lede here: even though DC is carefully calling their Blue Beetle movie their first film focusing on a Latino superhero, let’s not mince words. This is also the first Latino superhero film for modern audiences period. It’s taken Marvel over a decade to make Black Panther, and even then, it probably wouldn’t have happened without the late Stan Lee forcing their hand. Now, in the span of just a few years of existence, the DCEU has the first female superhero film in Wonder Woman, the first Asian/Pacific Islander superhero film in Aquaman, and now they are breaking new ground yet again for the superhero genre by giving us the first Latino superhero film. As much as we like to deride the DCEU for “ruining” Batman and Superman, they’ve actually hit on an underserved area for superhero fans.
It appears the DCEU has learned from its prior mistakes when it comes to building its universe. Something people have been wondering is what kind of secret sauce DC would come up with if they wanted to best the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It would appear that DC has stumbled upon the only weak spot Marvel has yet to truly rectify (even with Black Panther and the upcoming Captain Marvel)–diversity. Not just the standard swipe at “diversity” that only means making characters of color sidekicks and women characters objects to win. DC seems to be winning at making stories that showcase real diversity.
Wonder Woman, for instance, received a 93 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. At the time, that was the highest rating for any DCEU film so far. Most critics felt that as a character, Wonder Woman was the DCEU’s first real superhero in the sense that she embodied all of the daring-do (to borrow a word from Mr. Lee) that our favorite superheroes possess. She also seemed much more uplifting, inspiring, and brighter than the DCEU’s dire outings with Ben Affleck as Batman and Henry Cavill as Superman.
As New Yorker’s Richard Brody wrote, “Wonder Woman is a superhero movie, and it fulfills the heroic and mythic demands of that genre, but it’s also an entry in the genre of wisdom literature that shares hard-won insights and long pondered paradoxes of the past with a sincere intimacy.” Pay or Wait’s Sharronda Williams also wrote, “With the disappointment of Batman vs. Superman and Suicide Squad, DC proves they may have found their magic again.”
And even though Aquaman hasn’t even come out yet, it’s already received tremendous word of mouth. Check out these tweets:
#Aquaman was an absolute blast, from the charm of Momoa’s Arthur Curry, to the spectacular visuals to the fun that it was clear that everyone was having. It was exactly what I was hoping for and I can’t wait to see it again! I’ll give you more details when I’m allowed! pic.twitter.com/FyeczAJJIJ
— Jenna Busch (@JennaBusch) November 26, 2018
I’ll take some heat for this, but #Aquaman is the best Marvel movie that DC has made. That doesn’t mean it’s exactly like that formula, but it feels like a film that knows what it is, what it’s selling and who it’s selling to. There’s no identity crisis here.
— Paul Shirey (@arcticninjapaul) November 26, 2018
#Aquaman is an epic fantasy adventure on the high seas! It’s packed with thrilling action in a dazzling underwater world like nothing I’ve ever seen in superhero movies, or anywhere else. I had a total blast watching this movie & so will you. See it on the biggest screen you can! pic.twitter.com/uRWXDTE48K
— Sean Gerber (@MrSeanGerber) November 26, 2018
Aquaman is a blast from start to finish, with beautifully directed action sequences, spectacular CGI and cinematography, great performances from Jason Momoa and Amber Heard, a fantastic soundtrack and overall…FUN! @creepypuppet absolutely knocks it out of the park! #Aquaman pic.twitter.com/0yRfxBGGgE
— Shaurya Chawla (@_ShauryaChawla) November 26, 2018
— Umberto Gonzalez (@elmayimbe) November 26, 2018
#Aquaman is everything DC fans have been hoping for and more. Rollicking action, an amazing sense of world-building, spellbinding musical numbers in which Aquaman wears clams as tap shoes, and a command performance from Jason Momoa. DC has really righted the ship. The DCEU lives!
— Ben Mekler (@benmekler) November 26, 2018
The movie is another big step forward for DC and @creepypuppet
does some great work helming his first superhero movie.
Theater was filled and lot’s of applause at end. pic.twitter.com/GhOEQIZKTR
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) November 30, 2018
Saw #Aquaman — what a movie. A blast from beginning to end. Visually stunning (think LOTR under water). I will def see it again and in IMAX.
— chris harihar (@chrisharihar) November 27, 2018
Wow! #Aquaman was BEAUTIFUL! Every shot could be its own painting! Wonderful, wonderful movie!
— Martin Samoylov (@martin_samoylov) November 30, 2018
#AQUAMAN is an absolute blast! James Wan creates a thrilling story & makes a worthy entry in the DCEU
Full of spectacle & highlighted by creatures of the abyss, Wan creates an engaging adventure. The heart/emotion of the film resonated most, amplified by strong cast performances pic.twitter.com/GVj7tnO51o
— ComicBook Debate (@ComicBookDebate) November 26, 2018
WB should be handing the DCEU reins to James Wan, he’s proven he can, ahem, right the ship. pic.twitter.com/4hjxdmNLDf
— Tom Jorgensen (@Tom_Jorgensen) November 26, 2018
Sweet Neptune, #Aquaman is just so good. I liked it more the second time.
Jason Momoa owns the role. He made it his own. It’s epic.
Black Manta, though… Damn, I love Black Manta! The character’s story reminds me of the original Iron Man movie within another movie. Awesome. pic.twitter.com/0fbITBXHUb
— Brandon Davis (@BrandonDavisBD) November 30, 2018
#Aquaman is the most ambitious DC movie to date — a big, sprawling visual spectacle that is gorgeous, crazy, stuffed with terrific action, and a lot of fun to watch. James Wan, in my opinion, is the true star – he elevates the material, makes it entertaining and conquers it. pic.twitter.com/gDFjiAWICA
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) November 26, 2018
🔱 #Aquaman is better than expected. Feels like a Marvel phase one movie, in a good way. It’s at its best when it’s having fun and not taking itself too seriously. Black Manta is great villain that comic book fans will love. Some truly spectacular one shots and good action. pic.twitter.com/aTnc1QWk66
— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) November 26, 2018
#Aquaman is great. James Wan made a really unique super hero origin film, often crossing into fantasy-epic territory, but grounded in family and discovery.
— Brandon Davis (@BrandonDavisBD) November 26, 2018
Excited I can now say how much I enjoyed #Aquaman! It’s a cool adventure built on some tremendous action sequences and set pieces, with a great hero arc/performance from Jason Momoa as the glue. There’s fun world building, and it looks wonderful. A great step for the DCEU. pic.twitter.com/Z5iPdilMIR
— Eric Eisenberg (@eeisenberg) November 26, 2018
So I really enjoyed #Aquaman! James Wan has made an unapologetically bold superhero flick, mixing adventure and fantasy elements with stunning visual effects, a terrific lead in Jason Momoa (who’s clearly having the time of his life), and a great heroine in Amber Heard’s Mera. pic.twitter.com/V8bnw6mnCX
— Carly Lane (@carlylane) November 26, 2018
#Aquaman was outstanding. James Wan definitely loves the character and brings audiences one of the most unique super hero origin films in years. Tonally it strikes the right line! Feeling very similar to Sam Rami’s Spider-Man
— Jordan Samuel (@JordanESamuel) November 26, 2018
The waves of excitement I feel after watching #Aquaman are greater the 2nd time around. There really hasn’t been a movie like this. The creative choices, aesthetic, tone and world building are unique to this movie, but have clear influences. @creepypuppet really delivers. pic.twitter.com/CfFcHuPDFv
— Prince Entertainment Media (@PrinceEntMedia) November 30, 2018
I bet we can expect the same level of excitement once the Blue Beetle movie comes out. DC has found their winning formula, and by greenlighting the film, it’s clear they’re going to go at it even stronger.