Blue Beetle star Xolo Maridueña put the brakes on both the film and his character being part of James Gunn’s DC Universe rather noting in order for any of those to be true the upcoming film needs to perform well at the box office.
Fandango’s Naz Perez asked Maridueña, “Have you had any conversations with James Gunn about the future of Blue Beetle because he has a connection to Peacemaker in the comics, would you want to appear in Peacemaker Season 2 or the Booster Gold series?”
Maridueña responded, “I have had the please of getting to speak with Mr. James Gunn and the whole DC fam. And, you know, at the end of the day I think, you know, first, we have to cross this first hill and introduce Jaime to the world.”
“But I think it’s up to the audience to watch the movie,” he asserted. “It’s up everyone to show up for the movie and it’s so wonderful that we get to make movies like and if it does well we’ll get to open more doors for more Blue Beetles and not even just for the people up here, but we’ve got a whole thing set up. So many Beetles to choose from. So many comics to choose from and really just a whole world.”
He concluded, “We’re super appreciative that DC took the first swing at the live-action Latino superhero movie. So we’re ready to do it again if the crowd wants it.”
This is a huge shift in the narrative given James Gunn detailed in his original DC Universe slate announcement back in January that the character of Blue Beetle was part of the DC Universe.
He said, “And then to move into Blue Beetle, a fantastic film about a kid who is a marvelous part of the DCU.”
Gunn would go on to tell Michael Rosenbaum in June, “The first DCU character for sure is Blue Beetle, and the first full DCU movie is Superman.”
Following these comments from Gunn, Blue Beetle director Angel Manuel Soto told Total Film via Games Radar that the film is indeed part of the DC Universe.
He said, “We are part of the universe, we are part of the world, we are part of the plans that they have been creating for the future instalments of the DCU.”
However, he then added the caveat, “But we are not tied to all the films from the past. Yes, our movie lives in the world where superheroes exist. But that doesn’t mean that a certain event, or certain alliance, or certain things from the past dictate where our film is going.”
As for Maridueña’s comments about future plans if the Blue Beetle film performs well, Soto also teased that this first film is part of a trilogy.
He explained, “Our first movie, the way we wanted to do it, was always with the mentality that we wanted to do two more, at least. And taking the traditional three-act structure of a story, we wanted our first movie to practically be the first act of a saga.”
Interestingly, Maridueña’s comments do reflect those recently made by Soto in an interview with MovieMaker in June. After mocking numerous potential moviegoers for their reactions to George Lopez’s Uncle Rudy describing Batman as a fascist in the film’s trailer, Soto begged moviegoers to go and see the film.
He said, “We always wanted to have fun with the way Rudy talks about other superheroes.”
He continued, “So to the people who got mad at it, give us a chance. We’re just trying to have fun with the characters that we love. And everybody in our movie loves Batman and Superman and Flash.”
“And of course, we have criticisms about all of them, as we all should,” Soto added. “But that doesn’t mean that we hate Batman. We love Batman.”
Given long-range box office predictions it does not appear that moviegoers are willing to give the film a chance.
Box Office Pro predicted last month that the film will only have an opening weekend between $12 million and $17 million. They also note it will only gross between $27 million and $55 million in its entire domestic run.
All of this appears to be a trend for films greenlit before James Gunn and Peter Safran were appointed DC Studios CEOs. Shazam! Fury of the Gods director David F. Sandberg detailed on Twitter in February before the film came out that audiences needed to show up if they wanted to see more Shazam.
He tweeted, “He definitely won’t if people don’t go see this movie. What I’ve been told is that there’s nothing in the Shazam films that contradict the future plans for DC. So the possibility for more Shazam is there and if that’s what you want your best bet is to go see the film.”
The Flash director Andy Muschietti made similar comments telling ComicBook.com, ” We didn’t talk about it. I think that we’re all waiting to see how this movie does. Of course, there’s excitement about continuing the story, especially if this movie’s successful. Of course, there’s an architecture in DC that is brewing, and it’s being created. And the question is, will this new architecture absorb this story?”
“The good thing about the multiverse is that it is possible. The multiverse allows all of this different worlds to coexist and interact. And so hopefully, yes. We don’t know yet. That’s the truth,” he concluded.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods only grossed $132.1 million globally on a $125 million production budget. The film needed to make at least $312.5 million to break even. It clearly did not hit that mark and instead resulted in what is likely a loss of $108.2 million.
Similarly, The Flash only grossed $268 million on an estimated production budget of $200 million. That means the film needed to make at least $500 million to break even. The film lost at least $169 million.
What do you make Maridueña shifting the narrative on Blue Beetle being part of the DC Universe?