Disney’s ‘Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion’ Is a Latinx Superhero Comedy

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Over the past year, we’ve seen more superhero movies and shows embrace a wider range of diversity in terms of the main characters and the actors who portray them. For example last fall, Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings not only had an Asian lead actor, but also had a story heavily centered on Asian and Asian-American culture. This summer’s blockbuster Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness had the character America Chavez, played by Mexican-American actor Xochitl Gomez.

The new Disney series Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion aims to continue the trend of being more inclusive by placing the show around a Mexican-American family. The comedy follows Violet Rodriguez, an everyday Mexican-American teenager who, after being chosen by a magical luchador mask, transforms into the superhero Ultra Violet.

On CNET’s I’m So Obsessed podcast, Marianna Burelli, who plays Violet’s mother on the show, explained why Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion breaks new ground in representation and inclusion.

Marianna Burellia plays Nina Rodriguez in the Disney comedy Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion. On the show, unbeknownst to Nina, her daughter is getting superpowers.

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“Well, it’s a Latinx family. And we’ve never seen a Latinx family like this in a superhero context on television,” Burelli said. “The fact that we’re from Mexico isn’t the most important part of the show. It has nothing to do with the plot. We’re telling the story of a family that happens to have that past, but who has the same problems as the majority of people. And our superhero is a girl.

As the title suggests, Ultra Violet teams up with another superhero, Black Scorpion, to train and fight crime.

For Burelli, Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion marks the actor’s American debut. Originally from Venezuela, she has amassed an accomplished resume performing in theatres, films and TV shows in London and Mexico City. For three seasons, she played Natalia Velasco in the Netflix series Paramedicos.

Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion will premiere on Disney Plus and Disney Channel on June 3. And during our chat, Burelli pointed out how fun the show was. Part of that was that the cast and crew spent seven months filming in New Orleans under COVID-19 protocols and through Hurricane Ida.

You can listen to my full interview with Burelli in the podcast player above. We discuss the importance of lucha libre, how she co-founded AMAI, an eco-friendly makeup and cosmetics company, and her childhood obsession with ALF.

“I was very small, but I remember loving ALF and I remember buying an ALF doll that I could use as a puppet,” Burelli said.

Subscribe to I’m So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, Connie Guglielmo and I meet an artist, actor, or creator to learn more about their work, career, and current obsessions.

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