Angel Manuel Soto Talks The Future of Latino Superheroes & Importance of Portraying Latino Identity in Film – Interview
Warner Bros.’ newest DCU project, Blue Beetle, is available on way to 4K UHD and Blu-ray today. The film is spear-headed by its innovative director, Angel Manuel Soto, who brings his own flare to the beloved character.
The film is filled with heart, humor, and a ton of DC references that came from the enthusiastic Puerto Rican director. I had the chance to speak to the filmmaker and get his thoughts on the future of Latino superheroes and how Latino representation can go beyond what we have today.
Soto and I delved deep into the topic; discussing how Latino actors are portrayed in major movies and the significance of not just casting the actor but adding the actual heritage to their character. We also spoke about why a Latino’s identity in a movie is crucial to the effectiveness of their character. Check out the full interview for more of my conversation with the director of this exciting DCU movie.
Check out the full interview with Angel Manuel Soto below:
The importance of Jaime Reyes has been brought up before, but curious to hear the director’s perspective, I asked him why he personally felt like this character was essential to bring to the big screen.
Soto said, “Well, I mean, I was glad as the decision they made before I came in, because this is the third iteration, right? Dan Garrett, Ted Kord. And, and as fun as all of those are, it’s still different eras. Dan Garrett happened in that era of discovery, you know? Where archaeologists are the heroes and that type of thing. And that’s all fun. And then comes when billionaires are the heroes. And that’s okay, you know? Especially Ted Kord because of how quirky he is and how much of a respected billionaire he is. But we have seen those characters before and we have seen those characters played by the same race before. So it was refreshing that they chose to do the Blue Beetle story based on Mexican American kid from the barrio, from an immigrant family, who’s just trying to find his place in this world. And things don’t work to his advantage because of who he is in this world. And that’s something that I can relate to. I’m closer to Jaime than I’ll ever be to a billionaire. So finally, having somebody that comes from a neighborhood like mine that looks like me, whose family acts and looks like mine, bring his values to the table and have those values be part of his superpowers. And those superpowers be anything that you can imagine I can create and have fun with pop culture references. Who else can do that?”
From there, I wanted to get Soto’s take on the future of Latino superheroes. I asked him about the conflict of wanting more Latino superheroes on the big screen while still not having enough in the comic itself. Soto shared, “As for Latino heroes, I don’t think we have enough. So I think there’s opportunities to find, to either refresh older heroes that are shelved or embrace the ones that exist to give them the love they deserve, or something that could be even better, create new ones.”