‘Brightburn’ Trailer: James Gunn’s Horror Riff On The Superman Origin Story

“Whatever you’ve done I know there is good inside you.”

So says an anguished Elizabeth Banks in the new trailer for Brightburn, and without knowing the full context you might think this was just a mother clinging on to hope that her wayward son isn’t all bad. And that much IS true, but what if that son was an all-powerful alien being she’s raised since birth?  Brightburn is, essentially, a much darker take on the Superman origin story, in that the extraterrestrial child who grew up to be a symbol of hope instead becomes an object of fear and doom.

What’s interesting about this is the team behind it: Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn is a producer, working with The Hive director David Yarovesky. The script is by Mark and Brian Gunn, and based on this trailer they aren’t even trying to be subtle with the allusions to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. It’s all right out there on front street, and to me it’s fascinating they’ve decided to be so bold about it, although I’m very curious to see the reaction from fans. Wasn’t Snyder accused of being too dark and grim? Well, this takes that way over the edge.

The film is one we’ve known about all year but details had been successfully kept in secret. Sony had set the release date for November but when the Disney fallout occurred and he was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy 3 they decided to push it back a few months. Whether that helps or hinders the film we’ll just have to wait and see. The cast includes David Denman, Matt Jones, Jackson A. Dunn, and Meredith Hagner.

Here’s the synopsis: 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? With Brightburn, the visionary filmmaker of Guardians of the Galaxy and Slither presents a startling, subversive take on a radical new genre: superhero horror.

Brightburn opens May 24th 2019.