New superhero movie takes inspiration from infamous cult classic
The new DC blockbuster arrives in cinemas this week.
Big comic book blockbusters have sometimes successfully been tinged with other genres. We're talking about the likes of the first Thor movie (with some added Shakespearean tragedy), or Shazam! (with a peppering of body swap comedy), or Captain America: The Winter Soldier (with a dash of political thriller).
One genre you might not expect to see too much of in a huge budget superhero movie is body horror, but that is exactly what you get with DC's latest entry Blue Beetle.
When our hero Jaime Reyes (played by Xolo Maridueña) happens upon a magic alien scarab, it grafts itself on to his body in a scene that feels like it was adapted straight out of 1988 cult classic cyberpunk sci-fi Akira. While the majority of the movie is very fun and light, this grafting sequence is not for the feint of heart.
And it is something we had to mention when JOE had the opportunity to sit down with the director of Blue Beetle. You can check out our interview with Angel Manuel Soto, in which he also discusses making fun of Batman and why the movie will have a strong connection with Irish audiences, right here:
When we mentioned the connection to Akira during our interview with the director, we asked if Akira was something that was on his mind while making the film. Soto told us:
"100%. Akira was probably the first reference, even before I thought about how to do the movie, Akira just kept coming to mind. Besides being one of my favourite movies ever, Akira definitely played a strong inspiration.
"So did Cronenberg films. We wanted to do Cronenberg for the family. So being able to have fun with that - if you've seen the comic book, the transformation is pretty gory and horrific in the comic. And I think we did a good job to make it family appropriate, and I think the family brings the levity, so that the horror, you can digest it better."
Blue Beetle arrives in cinemas across Ireland and the UK from Friday 18 August.
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