James Gunn Is Making Blue Beetle Part Of The DCU

The trailer for Blue Beetle has dropped, one of the first films in James Gunn's DC Universe.

By Lyndon Nicholas | Updated

Many changes are happening over at DC with James Gunn preparing his takeover of the DC Universe. Although the fates of fan-favorite superheroes like Aquaman are up in the air, at least one will be making the jump to the big screen. According to Deadline, a new trailer just dropped for Blue Beetle, which will be joining the DC Universe via a cinematic release on August 18, 2023.

James Gunn and his team gave fans a surprise, dropping the trailer for Blue Beetle yesterday, April 3, 2023. Starring Xolo Mariduena as the titular character and first Latine superhero in the DC Universe, it begins with Jaime Reyes (Mariduena) working in a housecleaning role in Palmera City, a fictional city in a tropical climate that seems to share a resemblance to Miami. When on the job, Jamie is given a seemingly innocuous hamburger box which he is told to guard with his life but not to open. 

Chaos ensues when Jaime and his family feel compelled to open the box and find a mysterious metal artifact that resembles a blue beetle called The Scarab. When opened, it chooses Jaime as its next host, bonding with him by latching onto his face before engulfing his entire body in a mech suit which sends him flying into outer space. Sporting a blue exoskeleton, a high-tech display, and blue wings that can both propel it through the air and transform into blades, the mech suit also gives Jaime the ability to create “whatever you can imagine.”

The trailer for Blue Beetle is a fun romp that feels very James Gunn-influenced, however, Gunn had no part in making the film. It features an interpolation of Lil Uzi Vert’s hit “I Just Wanna Rock” and a number of vivid scenes to entice viewers. During it, viewers get a sense of the supporting cast, and even catch a glimpse of Susan Sarandon’s character, who is attempting to reclaim The Scarab for her own purposes.

james gunn blue beetle

Importantly, the trailer references its existence within the DC Universe by directly mentioning Batman during one of the scenes. Ironically, one of the characters calls Batman “a fascist,” which could be an indication of how the many conflicts that the DC heroes have been involved in have shaped public perception. Like Marvel’s Tony Stark and Spider-Man relationship, Blue Beetle brings a youthful energy that James Gunn could pair as a foil or mentee for a more brooding, established DC hero like Superman or Batman.

James Gunn is known for his work on the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise with Marvel, as well as 2021’s The Suicide Squad and the spinoff series Peacemaker in 2022. Compared to some of DC’s other works, his films often employ the use of comedy and absurdism to create zany, action-packed adventures. It should be interesting to see if this translates to any future Blue Beetle and other works released under his control and how much creative influence he will have on subsequent films.

Blue Beetle will be one of the first films to release in the new James Gunn DC Universe and should serve as a primer for subsequent movies in the universe. Although viewers are unsure if any other heroes show up in Blue Beetle, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad had several different heroes teaming up and working together, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if we saw more recognizable names from the DC Universe either join explicitly or referenced. For now, fans can enjoy the trailer and look out for any updates about the film.