James Gunn’s revamped DCU is officially upon us, as its flagship release soars into theaters.
Early reactions to Blue Beetle are largely positive, with many praising it as one of the best DC films in years, despite claims of low ticket sales weighing it down. The film is, in many ways, a first for the persistently-lackluster live-action DC slate, as it injects youth and diversity into what was once Zack Snyder’s colorless domain. The introduction of James Gunn came after Blue Beetle was already in development, but the film’s distance from the discarded DCEU allows it to serve as the introduction to DC’s new direction. Should Gunn’s magic work to elevate DC to new heights, Blue Beetle will serve as the first step.
The flick arrives in theaters on Aug. 18, almost exactly two months after The Flash flopped its way onto, and then promptly off of, the big screen. It is almost guaranteed to fare better than the doomed DCEU finale, but only if audiences find the storyline, characters, and runtime palatable.
Blue Beetle‘s runtime
Zack Snyder just loves a nice, unnecessarily lengthy scene, but — until Zack Snyder’s Justice League made its way to theaters — his DCEU films were never overly lengthy. We’d have surely seen plenty more releases push the Snyder Cut’s four-hour mark, had the director been given more control, but Warner Bros. has a policy when it comes to its movies. It likes them to keep it succinct, and reportedly puts a hard two-hour limitation on all its DC releases.
As such, Blue Beetle sports a nice, middle-of-the-road runtime. The film comes in at a comfortable two hours and seven minutes long, according to Fandango. It likely would have been a touch longer had director Angel Manuel Soto gotten his way — though not by much, if the filmmaker is to be believed — but WB has made its thoughts on over-long superhero movies clear. Leave those three-hour-long flicks to Marvel — the DCU likes to keep it concise.