Warner Bros. is unquestionably having a rough time in the superhero movie world thanks to the increasingly uncertain state of the larger DC Universe. In just the last few weeks, Batgirl was completely canned, two of the next three DCEU movies were delayed, and the company decided to cancel this year's DC FanDome after noting the return of in-person events.
But even while the studio has had its issues, there are still a couple of intriguing DC projects to look forward to before 2023 comes to an end. This includes a new streaming-turned-theatrical entry in Blue Beetle, which brings a never-before-seen hero into the spotlight along with a new suit and powers that haven't been utilized in a DC project before.
And with Blue Beetle now working steadily towards its August 18, 2023, release date, its leading actor recently shared his experience working on the film, which didn't even include an audition.
New DC Star Didn't Audition for Blue Beetle
Speaking with Backstage Magazine, Blue Beetle star Xolo Maridueña revealed that he got the leading role in the movie without having to audition for Warner Bros.
Maridueña looked back to how he was booked for the role "just off of the director believing in [him]" and trusting that the casting decision would work out for the movie. He thought this may have been based on his work in Netflix's Cobra Kai, but the producers explained to him that this role would be something completely different than that:
"Heading into ‘Blue Beetle,’ I hadn’t auditioned. I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be booked just off of the director believing in me and being like, ‘This is the guy; it has to be this guy.’ Even now, it’s sometimes really hard to wrap my head around that idea that, you know, they have seemingly so much riding on this movie—in this, hopefully, series of movies. How could they not audition me? The only thing that I could think to sum it up to was like: Oh, they liked ‘Cobra Kai,’ so they probably want something similar to Miguel…. And that couldn’t have been further from the truth. I remember doing the chemistry reads and having our producers and the director be like, ‘No.’ And I can’t say anything else about the character. But I think in that conversation, they were like, ‘You will learn that it’s not the same thing.’ And honestly, that’s super helpful.”
Maridueña also spoke with The Hollywood Reporter, looking back to when he was actually cast in the role.
He described it as something out of Ashton Kutcher's Punk'd, being offered the job on the spot at a dinner meeting in Pasadena, California, with director Angel Manuel Soto:
"It was an Ashton Kutcher Punk’d-style."
Soto described Maridueña as having a persona identical to that of Blue Beetle's leading character Jaime Reyes, calling the casting "a natural fit:"
“His persona is pretty much the character of Jaime Reyes. It was a natural fit."
Maridueña Fit Perfectly as New DC Hero
Xolo Maridueña has been set to play the role of Blue Beetle for the DC Universe for more than a year, marking one of the biggest roles the 21-year-old star has had in his career. Although he's had some substantial experience with his work on Cobra Kai over the last four years, this will be his first time leading a project of this magnitude from a franchise as big as DC.
Maridueña leads an impressive cast of characters in this upcoming feature, including stand-up legend George Lopez and Emmy Award-winning Ted Lasso lead Jason Sudeikis. But hearing that he got this role without even putting forth an audition for the studio should have fans excited to see what he can bring to the world of superhero movies.
With only a few set photos to go off of thus far, it's hard to tell what exactly Maridueña brings to the table to make this role so special. But with the young star bringing a thrilling new Latino hero into the mix for the ever-changing DC Universe, curiosity and anticipation are building to see what he has in store for the role.
Blue Beetle hits theaters on August 18, 2023.