If you're a fan of superhero movies, you're probably well aware that DC is in something of a transitional phase when it comes to its big-screen output.


With James Gunn and Peter Safran having taken the reins at the studio, the DC Extended Universe is in the process of being rebooted as the slightly more simply titled DC Universe – which will officially begin with the release of Superman: Legacy in 2025.

Of course, that has meant that several projects which were confirmed by the studio before the regime change have been left in a rather uncertain state.

So far this year we've already seen Shazam 2: Fury of the Gods and The Flash arrive in cinemas, and now the latest film to land is Blue Beetle – which introduces Cobra Kai's Xolo Maridueña as Jaime Reyes, a recent graduate whose life is changed when he transforms into the titular hero.

But where do the new film and the characters introduced in it actually fit into the future of the franchise? Read on for everything you need to know.

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Is Blue Beetle part of James Gunn's new DCU?

The honest answer to this question is: it's complicated.

The film itself is not part of the rebooted franchise – which won't officially begin until 2025 – but based on statements from Gunn and Safran it looks like the character of Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle could well have a role to play in the future plans.

In March of this year, Gunn told Gizmodo that the film "is totally disconnected" from what came before it, but added that "he can totally be a part of the DCU".

Then, in July, he confused things even further by explaining on the podcast Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum: "I mean, the first DCU character, for sure, is Blue Beetle, and the first full DCU movie is Superman."

Quite what that really means is not exactly clear, but the main thing you need to know is that Blue Beetle does not rely on any knowledge of previous DCEU films – so you won't need to swot up on Man of Steel or Justice League or any of the other films released under the previous regime before watching.

For his part, director Ángel Manuel Soto told RadioTimes.com that the various regime changes had not had any effect on the film, while he also reiterated that he hoped the character could continue in further movies once the new DCU is fully underway.

"No [it didn’t affect it]," he said during an exclusive interview. "I think like, first of all, when we started the movie, the project, we didn't know there were going to be two regime changes after that. So that wasn't on the horizon, at least for me.

"And also, when we started working on the project, we really wanted to focus on Jaime, and Jaime himself from the beginning, not Jaime already being a hero.

"As an origin story, we really wanted to make this first movie feel like the first act of a saga, right? Like the movie ends, and now he can jump into the new world. Now he's gonna be a hero, right?

"But we needed to have his first adventure… like the whole movie is the reluctant hero facing his first adventure. And then the next iterations of the Blue Beetle saga, we're gonna see him grow and become a bigger hero and face bigger foes."

The long and short of it, then, is that although nothing is confirmed so far, it looks like there's a good chance Blue Beetle as a character will have a part to play in James Gunn's DC Universe – even if this new film isn't technically part of it.

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Blue Beetle is released in cinemas on Friday 18th August 2023. Read more of our Film coverage, or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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