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Blue Beetle: Cobra Kai's Xolo Maridueña in talks to channel his inner arthropod for the DC movie

By Josh Grossberg

Balance good. Karate good. Starring in your own would-be DC Comics blockbuster?  Fantastic.

Cobra Kai's Xolo Maridueña is kicking his way to leading man status as he's reportedly in talks to topline a big screen version of DC Comics' Blue Beetle for HBO Max and Warner Bros.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 20-year-old actor would portray Jaime Reyes, an El Paso teen whose alien scarab armor grafted into his spine has given him a bevy of superpowers. He can reconfigure his suit into a variety of weapons, from a grappling hook and energy canon to a sword and shield, in addition to transforming into wings that allow him to fly like his namesake arthropod. He uses these abilities, which he gained from an ancient artifact, to defend his hometown and battle various villains.

No word on the film's plot, but the script for Blue Beetle was written by Mexican-born writer Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, who penned the forthcoming Scarface remake. Taking the reigns for what will be DC's first adventure centering on a Latino superhero is Angel Manuel Soto, the Puerto Rican director behind the Sundance award-winning coming of age drama Charm City Kings.

Maridueña is best known for his ongoing stint in Netflix's Cobra Kai, the hit streaming series based on The Karate Kid movies opposite Ralph Macchio, William Zakba, Mary Mouser, and Martin Cove. The thesp plays Miguel Diaz, the Ecuadorian teen who is the show's sometime hero/sometime villain after coming under the tutelage of Zabka's Johnny Lawrence, who returns to fighting form to plague Macchio's Daniel LaRusso and show no mercy when he resurrects the Cobra Kai dojo.

No release date is set yet for Blue Beetle, but Warner Bros. and its streaming sister HBO Max are next set to drop James Gunn's Dirty Dozen-esque supervillain reboot of The Suicide Squad this Friday.