Is Blue Beetle in the DCU? All told, it’s probably 2023’s most confusing superhero movie question. Several quotes have conflicted with themselves – and even the movie itself is hesitant to answer whether Jaime Reyes exists in the older DCEU or James Gunn and Peter Safran’s shiny new DCU.
Below, we’ll aim to explain the weird and wonderful canon issue that’s been keeping comic book movie fans occupied. We’ll untangle quotes from Gunn and director Angel Manuel Soto, then offer up our own theories as to whether Blue Beetle is in the DCU. Spoilers: It’s not a simple one-word answer.
Is Blue Beetle in the DCU?
Not really. The confusion all seems to stem from James Gunn describing Blue Beetle as the "first DCU character" and confirming that Superman: Legacy is the first live-action DCU film.
Up until that point, it would have been a fair assumption that the new release was part of the DCEU, especially given how Gunn joined DC Studios as co-CEO long after production on Blue Beetle had wrapped.
The DCEU – the previous cinematic universe launched by Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, running through to The Flash – will be no more once DCU Chapter One launches in 2025. But Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom, releasing in December, will still be part of that canon and exists as the final DCEU movie.
Does that mean Blue Beetle, releasing in the interim, will be in the DCEU too? It’s a difficult question to answer.
The Blue Beetle movie itself is decidedly non-committal, sprinkling in a handful of vague DC references to characters such as Superman and Batman, but with nothing to specifically tie it to either the DCEU or DCU.
Director Angel Manuel Soto muddied the waters further in an interview with Total Film magazine – suggesting that Blue Beetle is "part of the universe", without outright confirming which one. He did, however, namecheck the DCU in reference to the character’s future plans – and seemed to distance himself from any DCEU connections.
"We are part of the universe, we are part of the world, we are part of the plans that they have been creating for the future instalments of the DCU," Soto said. "But we are not tied to all the films from the past."
He continued, "Yes, our movie lives in the world where superheroes exist. But that doesn't mean that a certain event, or certain alliance, or certain things from the past dictate where our film is going."
In our own separate conversation with Soto, the director said he hasn’t directly spoken to James Gunn about Blue Beetle’s exact place in the DCU, just that he’s an important player moving forward.
"No, we haven’t had a direct conversation about it, but we have had conversations about the importance of Jaime and Blue Beetle within the universe, as well as his stories in the comics," Soto told GamesRadar+, hinting that if this first movie isn’t explicitly in the DCU, future appearances will be.
"He can have his own stories, his own space and he can also be part of different leagues, and different connections, with other heroes… I think it felt to them like an obvious idea to have him as the first hero of the new DCU."
TL;DR: Blue Beetle is 100% a DCU character, but his own movie itself exists in a weird limbo. It’s not in the DCU – despite some quotes appearing to back that up – and it was produced under the DCEU umbrella. It’s a half-step towards the future while simultaneously paving the way to cut ties with the past. The full answer will likely come once James Gunn's DCU begins and we get more clarity over where this movie lands.
What's likely is that his story will probably fully continue in that new cinematic universe. Blue Beetle’s origin (and presumably Jaime Reyes actor Xolo Maridueña) will carry across for the sake of simplicity – and not having to reset the character immediately after his first cinematic adventure.