Apart from looking forward to hearing our very own Inka Magnaye voice the Scarab in the Philippine release of Blue Beetle, filmmakers say that the film has more up its sleeve.
Says director Ángel Manuel Soto of the close-knit Mexican-American Reyes family at the center of the film, “In this origin story, the family – contrary to other superhero movies where the hero keeps the secret from everybody around him – the secret really happens in front of the family. So, Gareth [Dunnet-Alcocer, screenwriter] always said, ‘Good luck trying to hide a secret from your mom in a Latino household, they always know!’ And we kind of like embraced that, so this made for a very unique journey where the family is part of the adventure, not a group of people or an object of rescue, but on the contrary, an integral part of the construct of this superhero.”
“Its tone is… it has to be funny,” says Mexican-born screenwriter Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer “I’ve never met a Mexican person that wasn’t funny, so there’s no way the movie wouldn’t be funny. But what kind of funny it is, is wonderful, and I think it’s really inspired by the tone of the early Blue Beetle comics, where you have a hero that’s fallible.”
Jaime Reyes’s experience as a new hero in a brand new suit is unique. “Can he fly? Yes. Is he strong? For sure. Are there big action sequences? Absolutely,” says producer John Rickard. “But it’s the special abilities of the suit, which are unlike anything else in the DCU, that make it so ridiculously cool, because it allows Blue Beetle endless superpowers. He’s literally a 20-something who has a suit that can create anything he can imagine. And so, what does this young kid do with these powers? He pulls from what he knows: pop culture. Things he knows in his everyday life. Our action sequences in ‘Blue Beetle’ are definitely inspired by a lot of gamer combos, which makes it feel like a video game come to life. Those who know will know.”
In the comics, Jaime Reyes and his family live in El Paso, Texas, but the studio thought it would be a better idea to create an entirely new setting – a new place unique to the world of Blue Beetle called Palmera City.
“They thought it might make sense to give Jaime and Blue Beetle his own unique city, much like Superman has Metropolis, The Flash has Central City. We loved this idea,” says producer Zev Foreman. “It suddenly got brighter; it suddenly got more colorful. It suddenly got the idea of water and how it combines with this place. The idea of the different sides of a place like Miami, in terms of the people that live there, the wealth that’s there, other things. It provided so many awesome opportunities to create a really unique environment in a superhero genre. And, again, it starts to inform the sounds, the music, the feeling, the lighting, all of these things, and I think it was an amazing choice.”
Blue Beetle opens exclusively in Philippine cinemas on August 16, 2023 from Warner Bros. Pictures Philippines.