Blue Beetle director Angel Manuel Soto on the movie's true villain

Blue Beetle may have an evil antagonist in Susan Sarandon’s Victoria Kord, yet the story’s true villain is gentrification and home invasion. Blue Beetle is in UK cinemas and IMAX from 18 August.

Video transcript

JACK SHEPHERD: Something that really struck me about this movie was kind of the villain of it was less kind of-- I know Susan Sarandon plays the villain and is caught in all this. But there's also the threat of, you know, gentrification, being removed from your home, all these kind of like big topics that are brought into this superhero movie. Kind of, what went into the decision to bring those into this film?

ANGEL MANUEL SOTO: We-- the writer and I, we wanted this first movie to be his takes-- to be more on the personal side, not on the global side. And-- because we wanted to build to that. We wanted, like maybe the next movie we can save the planet, right? Save the world from alien destruction, whatever you want to make it be.

But first, we really wanted to focus on the things that we fear-- like growing up within that fear of alien invasion, which is fear of home insecurity, food on the table, where I'm gonna-- you know, gentrification, displacement, erasure. Those are things that are villains in our daily life, you know? And the people that perpetrate those things. So ultimately, that's sort of like what we tried to do with, yeah, she is-- Kord is the villain, but it's what she does to the communities that is the real villain of the story.

JACK SHEPHERD: Yeah, definitely gives it a different feel because there's no sky beam. It's like real threats that you can feel as a human, as well.

ANGEL MANUEL SOTO: Yeah, it makes it more visceral, too. Like, things that happen to [? the ?] [? Reyes ?] is stuff that you have seen on the news that can happen next door.

JACK SHEPHERD: Yeah, yeah.

ANGEL MANUEL SOTO: You know, so by doing it that way, I feel like it's just-- it's just a great starting point. So that where this hero come from, and now you can cheer for him without having to go through all of that again.