Cobra Kai actor Xolo Mariduena is in talks to star in the lead role of Jaime Reyes in Blue Beetle for HBO Max, Warner Bros. and DC Films first superhero movie starring a Latino character; as reported by The Wrap.
Charm City Kings director Angel Manuel Soto was earlier tapped to direct the film. Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, who penned Miss Bala and the upcoming Scarface reboot, has written the script for Blue Beetle. Mariduena starred in Cobra Kai alongside Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Courtney Henggeler, Mary Mouser, Tanner Buchanan, Martin Kove, Jacob Bertrand, Nichole Brown and Peyton List.
Multiple iterations of Blue Beetle have existed in the comics, with the film focusing on Jaime Reyes, an El Paso teen who uses alien armor granted by a strange artifact to defend his hometown. Reyes first debuted in the comics in 2006 from creators Keith Giffen, John Rogers and Cully Hamner.
In DC Comics, Blue Beetle is the superhero alter ego used by three different heroes, but the film will focus on Mexican-American teenager Jaime Reyes, the third character to assume the Blue Beetle mantle. While DC has had Latino characters in its movie universe, (Jay Hernandez as El Diablo in Suicide Squad, and Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya in Birds of Prey), and cast Latina Sasha Calle to play Supergirl in The Flash, this will be the first stand-alone title to feature a Latino lead.
Best known for playing the asthmatic Ecuadorian teenager Miguel Diaz on all three seasons of Cobra Kai — a fourth season is currently in production for Netflix — Mariduena got his start with the NBC family comedy-drama series Parenthood, where he joined in season three and was a main cast member for the following three final seasons. Mariduena’s other credits include Twin Peaks, Rush Hour, and Major Crimes.
The Blue Beetle film is looking to start production in early 2022. It does not have a release date yet. John Rickard is producing for HBO Max. Zev Foreman is executive-producing.
Originally slated to appear in theaters, Blue Beetle has now been moved to HBO Max.