The 7 movies that inspired Blue Beetle

blue beetle jamie reyes and scarabDC/Warner Bros.

Blue Beetle feels like a homage to action movies of old, but the director has revealed what particular films inspired him.

The DCEU is currently in turmoil, with films being panned and axed all over the place. However, that hasn’t stopped the new Blue Beetle movie from being released. The film’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here.

As we state in our 3 star review of the film, “It’s a superhero movie fit for all ages, and intentionally feels reminiscent of 80s and 90s adventure movies.” While it may seem obvious that Blue Beetle is paying homage to certain movies, you may not be able to figure out all of them.

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Dexerto was able to sit down with director Angel Manuel Soto and ask him about what films in particular inspired his upcoming movie, and here’s what he told us.

What movies inspired Blue Beetle?

Blue Beetle follows Jaime Reyes, a newly graduated young man thrust into danger when he is charged with looking after a Scarab, which ends up giving him unimaginable powers.

In our interview with Soto, he revealed a number of movies that inspired Blue Beetle. Particularly, movies from the 1980s, of which Blue Beetle is attempting to capture the same atmosphere.

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These movies include:

  • Indiana Jones (1981-2023)
  • The Thing (1982)
  • Blade Runner (1982)
  • The Goonies (1985)
  • John Hughes movies – particularly The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • David Cronenberg movies – particularly The Fly (1986)
  • Akira (1988)

As stated by Soto, “Those were the movies that inspired, and, you know we put them in a blender. It’s because I wanted, we wanted to pay homage to those films that made us.”

How John Hughes, The NeverEnding Story, and David Cronenberg inspired Blue Beetle

In our interview with Angel Manuel Soto, he gave insight into why and how certain movies inspired Blue Beetle. Check out his responses, and also check out the full interview video with him at the bottom of this article.

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NeverEnding Story

“I remember my first trauma was NeverEnding Story, like I couldn’t stop crying, like I think that was my first relationship with loss. Like that’s what loss feels like, so that type of impact, what it does. And the music, of Tangerine Dreams, and the aesthetics.”

John Hughes movies

“Those were the movies that inspired, and, you know we put them in a blender. John Hughes movies, like the ending of the movie feels very John Hughes. It’s because I wanted, we wanted to pay homage to those films that made us.”

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Soto was likely referring to The Breakfast Club in particular, just because the movie ends in a similar way, with a very similar feel-good vibe.

David Cronenberg movies

One thing to be wary of in Blue Beetle is the surprising amount of body horror, particularly when Jaime first transforms into the suit.

Now, David Cronenberg has been making body horror movies for years, including back in the 1980s, when he made The Fly and Dead Ringers. So naturally, Soto looked to him for inspiration.

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While speaking with Variety, Soto explained his thought process: “How can we do Cronenberg for kids? I wanted the energy to be fun but also tell the story about the movies that made me love movies.”

Check out our full interview with Angel Manuel Soto below:

Blue Beetle is in cinemas now. For more DC content, click here, and you can check out our other coverage below: