‘Blue Beetle': Angel Manuel Soto to Direct Film About DC Comics’ Latino Superhero (Exclusive)
Angel Manuel Soto, director of Charm City Kings, will direct Blue Beetle, DC Films and Warner Bros. first superhero film with a Latino character. People with knowledge of the project tell TheWrap exclusively.
The screenplay is from Mexico-born writer Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, who wrote the remakes "Scarface" for Universal and "Miss Bala" for Sony.
In DC Comics, Blue Beetle is the superhero alter ego used by three different heroes. However, the film focuses on Mexican-American teenager Jaime Reyes, the third character to take on the Blue Beetle coat.
"It's an honor to direct Blue Beetle, the first Latin superhero film for DC," Soto said in a statement to TheWrap. “I would like to sincerely thank everyone at Warner Bros. and DC for trusting me to bring Jaime Reyes to life. I can't wait to make history together. "
The film aims to start production in the fall. Zev Foreman is Executive Producer for Warner Bros.
Also Read: Jaime Reyes 'Blue Beetle' Latino Superhero Movie In Development At DC And Warner Bros (Exclusive)
Blue Beetle was created by Charles Wojtkowski for Fox Comics in 1939 as the alter ego of Dan Garrett, a police officer who uses experimental vitamins to develop superpowers. After Fox went out of business in the 1950s, Charlton Comics obtained the rights to Blue Beetle and introduced Garrett as an archaeologist who draws his powers from ancient Egyptian technology. In 1966, Charlton introduced the character Ted Kord, an athlete and inventor of legendary comic book writer Steve Ditko, as a new version of the hero.
Charlton went out of business in the early 1980s and his characters were bought by DC Comics, who introduced them to the mainstream DC universe after the crossover event "Crisis on Infinite Earths". Ted Kord stayed on as the Blue Beetle during the transition and was particularly inspired by Alan Moore for the character Nite Owl in "Watchmen".
Jaime Reyes was founded in 2006 by Keith Giffen, John Rogers and Cully Hamner and presented in May 2006 as part of the crossover event "Infinite Crisis" before the start of a new "Blue Beetle". Unlike Kord and Garrett, Reyes is a working-class teenager El Paso devoted to his family and had no connections with superheroes before receiving his powers.
Jaime Reyes spotted the Blue Beetle scarab on the way home from school with two of his best friends Paco and Brenda, who were half-buried on disused property. Reyes took the scarab home and was curious what it could be. That night, the scarab came to life and grafted itself onto the base of Jaime's spine and provided it with an alien armor suit that can be modified to improve its speed and strength, as well as to make weapons, wings and shields.
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"), this will be the first standalone title to feature a Latino lead.
According to the MPAA, Hispanic / Latin American audiences had the highest per capita viewers for the films in 2017, going to the cinema an average of 4.5 times a year. Latinos make up 18 percent of the population and buy 24 percent of movie tickets sold in the United States. It's also worth noting that superhero films attract a wide variety of audiences, with Latinos making up 22 percent of the audience for "Wonder Woman" and 21 percent of the audience for "Spider-Man: Homecoming."
Angel Manuel Soto Charm City Kings Blue Beetle
A Puerto Rican native, Soto discovered football and boxing at a young age, which inspired his first film, "El Pugil," a tribute to the children he grew up with and the power of sport in economically oppressed communities. Angel pursued his interest in the arts, studying architecture, and eventually documentary and writing. He started his career in the entertainment industry as a TV producer and later focused on art direction at a local advertising agency.
He made his directorial debut with “La Granja” (The Farm), which casts a thought on the harsh realities of the people of Puerto Rico. He created several groundbreaking VR narrative pieces such as "Dinner Party" and "Bashir's Dream" which have met with critical success at festivals. More recently, Angel ran Sundance 2020's award-winning favorite "Charm City Kings," which is now streamed on HBO Max. He's working on various features that have been set up in different studios, as well as a TV series.
Angel Manuel Soto will again be looked after by CAA and manager Jairo Alvarado at Redefine Entertainment.
Read the original story "Blue Beetle": Angel Manuel Soto directing the film about the DC Comics' Latino superhero (exclusive) on TheWrap
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