THE BIG PICTURE
In “Blue Beetle,” Jaime Reyes’ extended family—especially his machine-gun-wielding grandma played by Adriana Barraza—steals the spotlight. Director Ángel Manuel Soto envisioned the family not as damsels in distress, but as pillars of strength who actually come to Jaime’s aid, encouraging him to embrace his superhero destiny. The narrative leans into the concept of a family capable of saving themselves and Jaime, rather than waiting for a caped crusader to swoop in for the rescue.
“Blue Beetle” diverges from the standard superhero blockbuster formula, opting for more grounded, street-level threats rather than the usual end-of-the-world spectacle. And this works beautifully for the film. This choice is elevated by the strong presence of Jaime Reyes’ family—Adriana Barraza, Damián Alcázar, George Lopez, Elpidia Carrillo, and Belissa Escobedo. It’s Barraza’s gun-toting grandma, however, who’s becoming a fan-favorite sensation.
One significant factor in director Ángel Manuel Soto’s decision to have the Reyes family save Jaime—outfitted in his Blue Beetle gear—from the ominous Victoria Kord (played by Susan Sarandon) was his desire to flip the script on an age-old trope. Speaking with FilmSweep’s Steve Weintraub at a special IMAX screening, Soto elaborated on this vision. He wanted to infuse the narrative with a sense that the family didn’t need Jaime to swoop in and save the day. Instead, they could actively contribute to his growth as the hero empowered by the scarab.
A Fresh Take on Superhero Films
“I did ponder an ending with the usual fanfare—explosions, near-death experiences, and a last-minute rescue by Jaime,” Soto admitted. “However, it felt too cliché, too familiar. I was particularly keen on giving the women in Jaime’s life a chance to be heroes in their own right.”
![Image via DC Comics]
Continuing his thought, Soto added that the Reyes family was already formidable long before Jaime stumbled into the Blue Beetle suit. They didn’t need superpowers to stick together when times got tough.
“The idea was to portray the family as Jaime’s backbone, lifting him up to realize his full potential as Blue Beetle. They aren’t relying on some external savior; they’re capable of rescuing themselves and Jaime, too. It sends out a powerful message: unity and collective strength triumph over the notion of waiting for an external savior,” Soto emphasized.
“Blue Beetle” is now playing in theaters, and while you’re here, don’t miss our exclusive interview with director Ángel Manuel Soto at the link below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Blue Beetle director
What is the central message that director Ángel Manuel Soto wants to convey in “Blue Beetle”?
The director aims to shift the traditional superhero narrative by having Jaime Reyes’ family, particularly the strong female figures, act as heroes who save Jaime instead of needing to be saved by him. Soto wants to emphasize family unity and collective strength as a way to triumph over adversity, rather than relying on an external savior.
Who are the standout characters in Jaime Reyes’ family in “Blue Beetle”?
The standout family members include Jaime’s machine-gun-wielding grandma played by Adriana Barraza, as well as other cast members like Damián Alcázar, George Lopez, Elpidia Carrillo, and Belissa Escobedo. The women in the family are particularly noteworthy for their strong, independent roles.
How does “Blue Beetle” differ from typical superhero movies?
“Blue Beetle” steps away from the usual end-of-the-world threats that dominate superhero films, focusing instead on more grounded, “street-level” conflicts. Moreover, it breaks from the norm by having the hero’s family play an active role in his journey, rather than being mere characters in need of rescue.
What motivated Ángel Manuel Soto to take this unconventional approach?
Soto wanted to offer something fresh to the audience, breaking away from clichéd storytelling. He felt that the women in Jaime’s life deserved to be heroes in their own right and that the family as a whole could offer Jaime the push he needed to realize his full potential as Blue Beetle.
Did Ángel Manuel Soto always plan to have the family save Jaime?
No, Soto admitted that he considered a more conventional ending where Jaime saves the day. However, he felt that such an approach would be too cliché and diminish the impact of the family’s role in Jaime’s growth as a hero.
Is “Blue Beetle” currently showing in theaters?
Yes, “Blue Beetle” is now playing in theaters. There’s also an exclusive interview with director Ángel Manuel Soto available for further insight into the film’s unique approach.