It’s the year 2018 and superhero narratives dominate our cultural landscape, which makes the fact that we haven’t gotten a real superhero horror story yet. Well, James Gunn is going to be bringing us just that with his latest producing gig, Brightburn.
As you can tell from the trailer, the idea is to turn the Superman myth on its head. What if a good, middle America couple finds a baby and it turns out that they are more interested in destruction than in helping? That’s what’s happening with little Brandon who crash-landed as a baby and, well, turns out not be very much like us at all. He takes on the alterego of Brightburn, dons a red cape and mask and…well, looks to be attacking innocent bystanders.
The film stars Elizabeth Banks, who has mostly done comedic roles, and David Denman as the two parents of this young alien who turns sinister. The film is written by James Gunn’s brother Brian and cousin Mark, and is directed by David Yarovesky, who is making his big Hollywood feature film debut.
Personally, I think this film looks absolutely terrifying. Brandon, played by Jackson A. Dunn, is weirdly menacing and the parents’ desperation to keep their child safe and away from others is palatable. I am actually kind of surprised we haven’t gotten a movie like this, since it is a pretty popular trope in comics and literature. I mean, Red Son is literally about “What is Superman landed in the USSR” Still, I think it’s a conversation we’re ready to have in the cinema and it’ll be fascinating to see just how dark they go. This will go great with the other horror superhero flicks Glass and New Mutants, both coming out in 2019…we hope.
Brightburn premieres in theaters on May 24, 2019.