Xolo Maridueña has his mom to thank for an early, pre-Blue Beetle interest in superheroes.
"I personally was not a huge comic book reader," Maridueña revealed in a People interview ahead of Blue Beetle's theatrical release. "But my mother, who helped raise me and was reading me bedtime stories at night, definitely was reading comic books instead of, you know, Goodnight Moon," he added, describing her as, "the type of kid who worked to buy records and comic books. So for that reason, of course, I knew who Blue Beetle was and had watched Young Justice and was familiar with the character."
Additionally, the Cobra Kai star credited his family for supporting his acting career and other childhood interests regardless of the odds. "Growing up, because they were so toxically positive with any venture that I ever wanted to do, whether it was stop-motion animation or writing or chemistry, they always instilled such confidence in me and believed in me," Maridueña recalled. "Even though I was a bad soccer player, they still went to my game! I wasn't always the best, but they really helped create this sense of confidence at a young age — whether it was illusory or real — that I could do anything that I put my mind to. They were so supportive and they made so many sacrifices."
Blue Beetle's marketing has openly promoted its family-centric themes via protagonist Jaime Reyes' supporting cast, played by the likes of George Lopez, Damián Alcázar, Elpidia Carrillo, and Adriana Barraza. This includes scenes of Jaime's family watching him bond with the Scarab Khaji-Da (voiced by Becky G) -- a process director Ángel Manuel Soto dubbed "[David] Cronenberg for kids" -- and flying in a vehicle resembling Ted Kord's Bug ship. Early Blue Beetle reviews, meanwhile, have been largely positive, with critics singling out Maridueña's performance as a highlight of the movie and scoring it an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this article.
Due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, Maridueña and his co-stars have been unable to promote Blue Beetle's release on social media. However, as a show of support, 27 Hollywood-based Latino organizations recently signed a letter encouraging Latino communities to raise awareness of the DC movie in their stead. Chronologically, Jaime's origin marks the first DC movie set in James Gunn and Peter Safran's DCU timeline, whose new slate of films will officially begin with Superman: Legacy. Though his future in the DCU remains ambiguous, Maridueña has openly expressed interest in returning as Jaime, stating, "I want to do 12 more years of Blue Beetle."
Blue Beetle releases in theaters on Aug. 18.