Actor Susan Sarandon has signed up to play the villain in the upcoming DCEU Blue Beetle movie, replacing the previous candidate for the role, Sharon Stone. Stone was initially reported to be in talks to play a character named Victoria Kord, who appears to be original to this film adaptation of the long-running character (but more on that later). However, it has been confirmed that Sarandon is set to play the antagonist to Cobra Kai‘s Xolo Maridueña, who will portray the Jaime Reyes version of Blue Beetle, a character long associated with DC’s premiere superhero team, the Justice League. The Blue Beetle movie was originally announced to premiere on Warner Bros’ streaming platform HBO Max, but in an unusual move, was announced in December to be going straight to theaters.
Blue Beetle will be Susan Sarandon’s first entry in the ever-growing world of comic book adaptations that will eventually encompass all of produced cinema. However, she was a frontrunner for the part of Selina Kyle/Catwoman in 1992’s Batman Returns, which eventually went to Michelle Pfeiffer (though not after Annette Bening was cast and resigned due to pregnancy). Sarandon is known for a wide range of roles over her five decades of acting, and has won an Academy Award, a BAFTA, a SAG and been nominated for many more. She has appeared in as diverse of films as the cult horror musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the feminist adventure road trip movie Thelma & Louise, and the fantasy-comedy movie The Witches of Eastwick. In short, Susan Sarandon is a bonafide Hollywood legend and Blue Beetle should be glad to have her.
While the origin of Susan Sarandon’s character of Victoria Kord is still unknown, there can be a few guesses hazarded. The name of Blue Beetle has primarily been held by three different characters in mainstream DC continuity. The original version (Golden Age, if you’re nasty) was named Dan Garret, originally created by Fox Comics, which transferred to Charlton Comics, eventually acquired by DC. That Beetle alternately got his powers from a super-vitamin (it was the 1940s) or a magical scarab. The Silver Age Blue Beetle is perhaps the best known, an inventor named Ted Kord who was characterized as a protege of Garret’s who offset his lack of powers with a number of high tech gadgets themed around beetles. He was kind of a goofier, knock-off Batman, in other words. It can be assumed that Victoria Kord will have some connection to the similarly named version of the hero.
The version of Blue Beetle that will face off against Susan Sarandon is Jaime Reyes, who was introduced in 2006. He was originally a Mexican-American teenager who encounters a scarab amulet that turns out to be extraterrestrial in origin, giving him superpowered protective armor. Blue Beetle will mark the first DCEU film with a Latinx protagonist and primarily Latinx cast directed, by Angel Manuel Soto and a screenplay by Mexican writer Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer. It is set to be released theatrically on Aug. 18, 2023.