James Gunn Turns Superman Into a Horror Movie
What if an alien spacecraft crash landed in Kansas, but instead of the being inside being a fan of truth and justice he was a murderous little brat? That’s the question that has seemingly been asked and answered by the Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn as he moves from the director’s chair to the producer’s for BrightBurn, the story of a young boy with all of the powers of superhero icon Superman, but none of the moral integrity.
Based on an idea co-created by James Gunn alongside his brother Brian and cousin Mark, the film is clearly a familial passion project. The script has been written by the latter pair with the largely untested David Yarovesky taking the helm as director. The trust in Yarovesky is undoubtedly coming from the Gunn named James as the two have collaborated in the past with the former appearing as a Ravager in the first Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as having directed the Guardians of the Galaxy: Inferno video short starring Peter Quill’s idol, David Hasselhoff.
The film was originally set to be announced at last years San Diego Comic-Con, but after the emergence of a handful of James Gunn’s less-than-appropriate tweets from nearly a decade ago, along with his infamous firing from Disney, Sony, which is distributing the film, decided to delay Brightburn from a November 2018 release to May 2019.
Much like the first Brightburn trailer released last December, this second trailer has once again lifted elements of the cinematography verbatim from Zack Snyder’s 2013 Superman origin story and DC universe springboard, Man of Steel. Beginning with the picturesque landscape of a rural farm, followed by the familiar sight of a cornfield lightly blowing in the breeze of a Summer’s eve, Brightburn wonderfully addresses all of the tropes one envisions when thinking about the blue boy scout. However, it is quickly made apparent that this particular super-powered being from beyond the stars is far from a boy scout, enjoying crushing the hands of his peers much more than trying to earn his whittling badge.
Elizabeth Banks reunites with James Gunn for the film, starring as the put upon mother of Brandon Breyer aka Brightburn. Rather than focusing on the empowered youngster, Brightburn looks to be centering on Bank’s struggling matriarch as she fights for her son, believing him to be capable of good despite him killing people with his various assortment of super powers. Along for the experience in nightmare parenting, and helping Banks in no way, is 13 Hours star David Denman who looks to be quite the opposite of Clark Kent’s hugely supportive father, instead running around screaming with a shotgun for the majority of the footage shown here.
Though the idea of an evil superhero has been explored several times in comic books with the likes of Mark Waid’s Irredeemable or Garth Ennis’ The Boys, this will be the first time audiences will have seen this idea explored on the big screen. So far, it looks like it’s going to be a horrifically super-powered delight.