First New DC Universe Movie Under James Gunn Revealed?

The long in development Blue Beetle arrives next year as the first movie in James Gunn's new DC Universe.

By Parker James | Published

james gunn DC movies

The DC Universe has had some mixed reaction films in recent years. David Ayer’s Suicide Squad (2016) comes to mind as a box office flop. Later rebooted by James Gunn to generally accepted success, the Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) director just teased a new DC Universe addition, Blue Beetle, via Twitter. It’s set to release in theaters on August 18, 2023, and is being directed by Angel Manuel Soto known for his feature film Charm City Kings (2020)

The DC Universe, and its various studios, are attempting to make a comeback as they are rebooting a whole slate of movies and character arcs. Not much is known yet about what movies are being rebooted, but it appears that the first up to bat will be Blue Beetle.

So who exactly is Blue Beetle? Canonically there are three versions of Blue Beetle, the first was introduced by Fox Comics in 1939 under the alias, Dan Garret. The storyline of the original Dan Garret was extremely simple. He was a ‘boots on the ground’ police officer that fought crime with superpowers gained from taking a supplement under the name Vitamin 2X.

The second character to use the moniker of Blue Beetle was Ted Kord, a Charlton Comics character that came over to the main DC Universe during the seminal Crisis on Infinite Earths. Unlike the other two superheroes of the same name, Kord was a scientist that used gadgets instead of a mystical scarab. A member of the Justice League and the fan-favorite Justice League International, Ted Kord was best friends with Booster Gold, the two frequently teaming up in various series as “Blue and Gold.”

The most recent and third edition of the Blue Beetle was first introduced in the DC Universe in 2006 during Infinite Crisis #3. Under the name Jamie Reyes, he gained his superpowers from an alien artifact that fell to Earth in El Paso, Texas. Canonically, it’s the same artifact that Garrett found way out in Egypt all those years ago. This artifact bonded with Reyes and gave him not only superpowers, but a super suit and armor akin to Iron Man’s power armor.

Dan Garret, Jamie Reyes, and Ted Kord from the Blue Beetle comic

James Gunn isn’t giving up any secrets yet as to how exactly he will approach the film. However, the Blue Beetle movie he is building in the rebooted DC Universe will follow the Jamie Reyes story with Corba Kia star Xolo Maridueña playing the lead role of the Blue Beetle.

Given the canon found in the DC Universe, the Gunn announcement raises some questions. Will Booster Gold make an appearance in Blue Beetle? Will any of the Green Lanterns or Guy Gardner make an appearance or are there any other villains besides Susan Sarandon’s Victoria Kord? What part of the comic canon will Gunn and Soto follow and how true of a Blue Beetle will be presented for the die-hard fans of the story?

As James Gunn is named the new Co-CEO of the DC Studios alongside Peter Safran, how will their creative direction change? Can the duo save the DC Universe from its past flops and disappointments? Seeing how Blue Beetle will be a new movie instead of a reboot or sequel, it has the potential to be a great start to an action-packed DC Universe for the modern age.