There’s bad news for DC fans who were looking forward to seeing Warner Bros. live-action Blue Beetle adaptation from the comfort of their homes. The studio announced that the film is getting an exclusive theatrical release. It’s a major shift in plans for the DC Extended Universe.
Originally slated to debut on the studio’s popular HBO Max streaming service like the entire slate of movies that came out in 2021, it seems the powers that be at WarnerMedia have decided to pivot and make it so that the Blue Beetle adaptation will only drop in theaters on Aug. 18, 2023. Not, as originally intended, on the streaming service, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
It’s not all bad news, though. In August, Warner Bros. and AMC reached a deal that will force all of its titles to go to theaters, but only for an exclusive 45-day window. So, if you’re willing to wait a month and a half to see Blue Beetle, you’re able to do so from your couch on your HBO Max subscription. That said, good luck avoiding any spoilers for that long after a movie’s release. However, it’s not surprising that theaters would take to such extreme measures to ensure that their companies stay afloat. And it’s not unreasonable for a major studio like Warner Bros. to want to help make that happen.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, theaters were one of the first and hardest businesses impacted by shutdowns. Most studios had to rethink their release schedules, which is why Black Widow and Mulan came out on the Disney+ streaming service for a premium price rather than in theaters as originally intended. Blue Beetle represents a shift in the opposite direction.
Warner Bros. was one of the first to respond to the changing times with a bold and aggressive decree that its entire slate of 2021 movies would hit the HBO Max streaming platform, with hits like Wonder Woman: 1984 on the vanguard. However, as spoiled as people may have become over the last year and a half, things had to return to normal sometime and it looks like Blue Beetle is the first casualty of the theater industry’s grand return.
That said, there’s a lot to look forward to when the movie does finally drop. After confusing the franchise’s timeline with the Justice League: Snyder Cut earlier this year, fans of the DC Extended Universe have been dying for some kind of tentpole to hang their hat on. What better way than a time-tested hero like Blue Beetle getting his very own live-action film?
That’s not all, with the casting of Cobra Kai actor Xolo Mariduena, Blue Beetle will officially mark the DC Extended Universe’s first film to focus entirely on a Latino character. He will be taking on the role of Jaime Reyes, a young but brilliant kid who discovers what he thinks to be an ancient Egyptian scarab beetle. However, he soon learns that it’s alien in origin and unlocks an extraterrestrial suit of armor that both burdens and gifts him with the responsibility of fighting crime. At least that’s how things shake out in the comic books. Movies tend to take their own liberties here and there, especially DC movies.
Angel Manuel Soto will direct the Blue Beetle script from writer Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer. Now fans just have to play the waiting game and hope that the pandemic subsides enough to make going to the theater safe when Blue Beetle comes in 2023.