The DC Films world is continuing to grow in some compelling ways, with new projects being brought to life in films, television series, and beyond. One of the newest to join that list is Blue Beetle, who will finally be getting a live-action film after years in development. The project, which will star Cobra Kai‘s Xolo Maridue?a as Jaime Reyes / Blue Beetle, has gotten an increased amount of attention around it, especially as it has moved from an HBO Max exclusive to theaters. As the supporting cast around Maridue?a has begun to take shape, one question has still remained — will Ted Kord, Jaime’s predecessor to the Blue Beetle mantle, factor into the movie?
In the comics, Ted is the second man to hold the mantle of Blue Beetle, following the Golden Age version of the hero, Dan Garrett. While Dan (and later Jaime’s) superpowers come courtesy of the Blue Beetle Scarab, Ted operates without it for the majority of his superhero career, as it is lost in Shazam!’s Rock of Eternity. Early on in the events of Infinite Crisis, Ted is brutally killed by Maxwell Lord, and dies hoping that the mantle of Blue Beetle eventually finds a successor. Shortly after, the Rock of Eternity is blown up and the Scarab gets thrown into Jaime’s hometown of El Paso, Texas, leading him to become the next Beetle. Ted and Jaime didn’t interact in any official capacity until the DC Rebirth initiative, which helped restore the status quo that Ted had prior to his death. Still, the duo have been emotionally tied to each other basically since Jaime first debuted, which has made some wonder if we could see him in the Blue Beetle movie.
That speculation was strengthened with Tuesday’s news that Basic Instinct and Catwoman star Sharon Stone will be portraying Victoria Kord, an antagonist character newly-created for the film. While Kord Industries was referenced in the very first piece of concept art for the Blue Beetle film, there had been no subsequent confirmation of any tie to Ted or his larger world. And at the moment, we have no clue exactly what relationship Victoria will have to Ted — but her involvement in the film still presents some possibilities for how he could be included.
If Victoria is a family member of Ted Kord, that could possibly lead to his appearance in the film, either in a strong supporting or cameo role. Speculation has swirled that Victoria could be Ted’s wife or ex-wife, which would create narrative conflict for both him and Jaime if she was the villain of the film. (If Ted were also a contemporary in age to the 64-year-old Stone, that would place him in his “prime” as Blue Beetle in the 1980s and 1990s, which would like up perfectly with the “Bwahaha” era that he thrived in in the comics. Admittedly, that could also be almost too narratively similar to how Hank Pym was established in Marvel’s Ant-Man films, but there’s still an opportunity for it to be approached differently.)
There’s also the possibility that Victoria could be Ted’s aunt or mother, essentially operating as a gender-bent version of his power-seeking uncle, Jarvis Kord, from the comics. That could allow for a Ted who is much closer to his superhero prime while helping Jaime, as well as the potential for the onscreen “Blue and Gold” team-up that fans have been waiting for for years.
There’s also the possibility that Ted isn’t even initially in Blue Beetle at all, and could already be canonically dead or missing in action by the time the events of the movie starts. This would add more discovery to Jaime’s individual hero’s journey, but still reference him in some way. Not only would this mirror the significance of Ted’s death in Infinite Crisis in the comics, and how Jaime fit into the aftershocks of that, but it would create an impactful narrative point if he were later revealed to be alive (which feels inevitable, given the nature of superhero storytelling).
Given the circumstances surrounding Blue Beetle — particularly Stone’s casting — it feels impossible that Ted Kord won’t be acknowledged in some way across the movie. Fans will just have to wait and see if he actually ends up appearing within the film, and what interpretation of the character we get along the way.
Are you excited for DC’s Blue Beetle movie? Do you want Ted Kord to appear? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Blue Beetle is set to be released in theaters on August 18, 2023.