DC's Blue Beetle Movie Will 'Make Everyone Who Is Latino Feel Included,' Says Harvey Guillén [Exclusive]

The DC universe may be in flux right now, but there's one thing that's certain: "Blue Beetle" is set to break new ground for superhero franchises as the first film in DC history to star a Latino actor. Xolo Maridueña is set to star as Jaime Reyes, a teenager who, in DC comics, develops superpowers after a chance encounter with a very special scarab.

The film also boasts a largely Latino cast that includes comedian George Lopez, "Predator" actor Elpidia Carrillo, and, of course, "What We Do in the Shadows" breakout star Harvey Guillén. /Film's Rafael Motamayor spoke to Guillén about the film, and while there's no word yet on which character the actor will be playing, he did open up about the film's groundbreaking representation.

When speaking about the world of "Blue Beetle," Guillén first credits the script by "Miss Bala" scribe Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer: "I'm really excited for this film to come out because I'm proud of the script," he shares. "The script is amazing." He also notes that "Charm City Kings" filmmaker Angel Manuel Soto, who directs the film, "has done a fantastic job." But the actor seems most excited about the way the film depicts the culture of its Latino hero and the characters who populate Jaime's story. He tells /Film:

"You feel so seen when you watch this film if you're part of the Latino community, because the language that is used, the scenarios, the settings, you're going to feel like, 'Oh my gosh, my culture is on screen. That is how we talk at home. That's something that we would do. Oh my gosh, that's something that I went through.'

The movie will make you feel 'introduced and welcomed'

After largely centering white heroes for years, superhero films have recently made a welcome shift towards more meaningful diversity, with projects like Marvel's "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" and "Ms. Marvel" spotlighting the specific stories of heroes of color. DC, meanwhile, is still picking up the pieces after a tumultuous year, so it's tough to say for certain which of its heroes will be the face of the franchise moving forward, but Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam and Jason Momoa's Aquaman have both played powerful men of color in the DCU in recent years.

Still, DC films have so far often aimed for an epic tone that doesn't leave much room for moments of sincere or even casual cultural representation, like Ned's hilarious Tagalog conversation in "Spider-Man: No Way Home" or Echo's (Alaqua Cox) conversation with her father (Zahn McClarnon) in "Hawkeye." Based on Guillén's enthusiastic comments about the cultural details of "Blue Beetle," it sounds like "Blue Beetle" might be poised to change that. "It's going to make everyone who is Latino feel included," the actor says. "And it's also going to, if you're not Latino, it's going to make you feel introduced and welcomed."

Guillén's Blue Beetle excitement is contagious

Guillén explains that "Blue Beetle" will have something for everyone, saying, "If you're visiting for the first time, you're going to love it because this is a world that you're going to be introduced to. And if this is how you grew up, you're going to feel seen." It's a well-spoken pitch for a movie that he seems really excited about, and even with the current state of DC, it's hard not to get excited after hearing his descriptions of the film. His interview with /Film is also not the first time the actor has spoken up about the film's potential for personal and cultural impact.

In an interview with ScreenRant, he described how surreal it felt to read a script that reflected his own childhood experiences back to him, down to what's playing on TV in the background of a scene. "I never would have thought in my lifetime I would see this on paper," he told the outlet, recalling thinking, "I'm so excited to see what the world's gonna see. I'm excited to welcome everyone into this world." And we're excited to check it out. 

"Blue Beetle" will hit theaters on August 18, 2023.