Across all mediums, Superman is about as friendly and American as apple pie. But ever think what if instead of coming to earth and becoming a hero, he decided to go on a killing spree? The trailer for Brightburn appears to answer this question. The film is a dark take on the traditional superhero origin from director David Yarovesky, however: the name that has everyone talking is James Gunn, serving as producer.
What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister?
The trailer plays out like the Black Mirror version of Man of Steel, it’s nearly identical to the origin of Superman: a couple wants a child and one crash lands on their farm in a space ship. The child seems like a normal human, but is not like us. We all know how the story goes, the child discovers his abilities, eventually learns to control them becoming a hero, and ultimately learning what it means to be a human being. But what if that being had no interest in decency, a more wicked and deadly agenda? The film flips the story and presents these familiar tropes with a dark tone and haunting imagery. The film even uses red, synonymous with Superman, to portray fear rather than hope. Written by Brian & Mark Gunn, Brightburn looks to explore this concept with a superhero-slasher of sorts.
Now, let’s clarify a few things. First, this movie is not by James Gunn. Yes, he is producing it but contrary to what marketing will lead you to believe this is not from the mind of Sean Gunn. Some people know the difference, others do not – evident by the many tweets speculating this was Gunn’s way of giving the bird to Marvel after getting fired in July. The movie was probably close to being finished at the time of Gunn’s release. Gunn’s involvement is also an interesting coincidence when it comes to the DC universe, as Gunn was later brought in to helm the future Suicide Squad sequel.
These coincidences and Brightburn’s not-so-subtle nods to Man of Steel have raised many questions surrounding the upcoming film, but considering Brightburn is being distributed through Sony Pictures it’s highly unlikely to be connected to Warner Brothers’ DC films in any capacity. This is a good thing though, a chance for the film to be a breath of fresh air. It’s 2018 and the superhero genre is still stronger than ever. Some may argue that there is fatigue, but 2019 looks to freshen things up with a string of genre-bending superhero films such as Glass, Hellboy, and New Mutants (if it ever sees the light of day).
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m definitely excited. It’s surprising it’s taken this long to get a resurgence in horror-based superhero movies with movies like Blade and Chronicle finding success in the past. No matter, it’s all good because we’re getting them now. Brightburn starring Elizabeth Banks (Slither) and Jackson A. Dunn hits theaters on Memorial Day 2019!