Xolo Maridueña is making the leap from the Karate Kid universe to DC Comics. The Cobra Kai star has snatched the lead role in Blue Beetle, which alongside Batgirl, is one of the first batch of DC Films that will arrive exclusively on HBO Max. On Monday afternoon, The Wrap reported that Maridueña was in talks for the lead part of Jamie Reyes, and that situation quickly moved to a done deal as Maridueña arrived at The Suicide Squad premiere with Blue Beetle director Angel Manuel Soto (Charm City Kings) who confirmed the casting to Heat Vision reporter Aaron Couch.
“#BlueBeetle has arrived at #TheSuicideSquad! Director Angel Manuel Soto and Warners execs surprised Xolo Maridueña with the news at dinner just last night,” Couch tweeted along with a photo of the director and star at the premiere.
In Blue Beetle, Maridueña will be playing teenager Jamie Reyes, who is the third iteration of the classic superhero. In the comics, Reyes is a Mexican American teenager who accidentally stumbled upon the Blue Beetle Scarab in his hometown of El Paso. The Scarab fused to his spine, giving him a technologically advanced body armor with powers that the young hero doesn’t even know the full extent of. The Reyes version of Blue Beetle also a prominent role in the fan favorite animated series Young Justice.
As The Wrap notes, Blue Beetle (as far as DC/Warner Bros. goes) will be “the first stand-alone title to feature a Latino lead.” The HBO Max exclusive film will also be written by Mexico-born writer Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer (Scarface, Miss Bala).