Blue Beetle Director, Star Respond to Backlash Over ‘Batman’s a Fascist’ Line

Blue Beetle director Ángel Manuel Soto and star Xolo Maridueña aren’t sweating the backlash to a humorous line in the DC film’s trailer.

Set within the DC (Extended) Universe, Blue Beetle stars Maridueña as Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle. The film places great emphasis on Jaime’s family, including his Uncle Rudy (played by George Lopez). In the film’s trailer, Uncle Rudy is shown to have a distaste for Batman, going as far as to call the Dark Knight a “fascist.”

This line caused a bit of a stir online, with some going as far as to claim that the creatives behind Blue Beetle dislike Batman. However, Soto assures that nothing could be further from the truth. Moreover, the line is 100 percent in character for Uncle Rudy, who is described as being Doc Brown-esque and a bit of a conspiracy theorist.

Blue Beetle’s director loves Batman

“We always wanted to have fun with the way Rudy talks about other superheroes,” Soto told MovieMaker. “So to the people who got mad at it, give us a chance. We’re just trying to have fun with the characters that we love. And everybody in our movie loves Batman and Superman and Flash … And of course, we have criticisms about all of them, as we all should. But that doesn’t mean that we hate Batman. We love Batman.”

Maridueña had an even simpler response to the backlash. “F that!” the actor said. “Maybe Jaime and the audience don’t agree with Rudy, but you’re allowed to have your opinion. That’s okay … If you felt some type of way about it, that was the point. So I think if you agree with it, if you don’t agree with it, it was placed there for a reason. And you know, all of the people who have their Batman shrines at home can keep them there and they don’t have to worry.”

Uncle Rudy isn’t the first to call Batman a fascist

It should also be noted that Uncle Rudy’s assertion isn’t entirely unfounded. In official DC media, Batman has occasionally been depicted as being overtly fascist. Perhaps the most famous example of this is Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns universe. This is especially noteworthy, seeing as how the DCEU‘s Batman — played by Ben Affleck — is rather Miller-esque. (That said, the in-universe existence of Affleck’s Batman is unclear following The Flash.) In contrast, though, the Caped Crusader has also been depicted as being a man of the people, such as in Matt Reeves’ recent film The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson.

Furthermore, Blue Beetle is hardly the first DCEU/DCU project to throw an ultimately harmless jab at another superhero. A recurring theme in the first season of writer-director James Gunn’s Max series Peacemaker was the eponymous anti-hero — played by John Cena — badmouthing iconic DC characters. He would also often tell fabricated stories about them. This, too, appears to have been all in good fun.

Blue Beetle opens in theaters on Aug. 18.