From karate champion to Super Hero: “Cobra Kai” standout Xolo Maridueña plays his dream role in “Blue Beetle”

“It’s a dream, surreal is really the only word I can use for it,” says Xolo Maridueña, who plays Jaime Reyes / Blue Beetle in the all-new Super Hero movie from Warner Bros. Pictures, “Blue Beetle.”

“For as long as I can remember, Jaime Reyes is the biggest Latin Super Hero in the DC Universe,” says the actor. “Growing up, my mom was a huge fan of comics and I think she passed down that liking to me, and it was always a dream to play this role and to get into this character.”

For Maridueña, family is what sets “Blue Beetle” apart from other Super Hero movies. “The family aspect is one that this movie really hits right on the head,” he shares. “Getting to work alongside phenomenal actors that are playing my family – Elpidia (Carillo, plays Jaime’s mother), Damían (Alcázar, father), Adriana (Barraza, grandmother), Belissa (Escobedo, sister) – the whole core family, I look at them and I speak with them and I’m like, ‘whoa,’ from the get-go we were bonded for life, and we are now. I haven’t seen that in a Super Hero movie before, so I think the audience is really gonna relate to that.”

Unlike in most Super Hero movies where the protagonist hides their identity from family to keep them safe, in “Blue Beetle,” Jaime discovers his superpowers right in front of his family, making them all privy to his secret. “This family, really, for better or for worse, is the driving force of everything that Jaime does,” says Maridueña. “You see that, and it’s really just due in part to how much he cares about them, and that is an experience that I relate to and that I can connect with so easily.

“My family is also so integral in everything that I do, and sometimes it feels like we’re on top of each other all the time, but those are the best types of relationships. I think they really provided a support system for Jaime to excel in everything that he wanted to do, and maybe now that he has the Scarab the plans are a little bit different, but they’re ride-or-dies, they see him for who is he and they’re gonna support him, and that really is such an important part of the story.”

In “Blue Beetle,” recent college grad Jaime Reyes (Maridueña) returns home full of aspirations for his future, only to find that home is not quite as he left it. As he searches to find his purpose in the world, fate intervenes when Jaime unexpectedly finds himself in possession of an ancient relic of alien biotechnology: the Scarab. When the Scarab suddenly chooses Jaime to be its symbiotic host, he is bestowed with an incredible suit of armor capable of extraordinary and unpredictable powers, forever changing his destiny as he becomes the Super Hero Blue Beetle.

“Blue Beetle” opens exclusively in cinemas August 16.

From Warner Bros. Pictures comes the feature film “Blue Beetle,” marking the DC Super Hero’s first time on the big screen. The film, directed by Angel Manuel Soto, stars Xolo Maridueña in the title role as well as his alter ego, Jaime Reyes.

Starring alongside Maridueña (“Cobra Kai”) are Adriana Barraza (“Rambo: Last Blood,” “Thor”), Damían Alcázar (“Narcos,” “Narcos: Mexico”), Elpidia Carrillo (“Mayans M.C.,” the “Predator” films), Bruna Marquezine (“Maldivas,” “God Save the King”), Raoul Max Trujillo (the “Sicario” films, “Mayans M.C.”), with Oscar winner Susan Sarandon (“Monarch,” “Dead Man Walking”), and George Lopez (the “Rio and “Smurf” franchises). The film also stars Belissa Escobedo (“American Horror Stories,” “Hocus Pocus 2”) and Harvey Guillén (“What We Do in the Shadows”). Soto (“Charm City Kings,” “The Farm”) directs from a screenplay by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer (“Miss Bala”), based on characters from DC. John Rickard and Zev Foreman are producing, with Walter HamadaGalen Vaisman and Garrett Grant serving as executive producers.

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